Aging Well: Simple Habits for a Healthier and Happier Life

24 December 2023

Experts share tips on how to age healthily and debunk the fear of growing old

In a world where the pursuit of longevity often seems reserved for the wealthy elite, there is hope for the rest of us. Former tech CEO Bryan Johnson made headlines with his $2 million-a-year quest to reverse his biological age, but experts say that anyone can make simple changes to vastly improve the quality of their lives as they age. From incorporating healthy habits into your routine from a young age to embracing social connections, this article explores the keys to aging well and dispels the fear associated with growing old.

The basics:

According to anti-aging and cellular health expert Greg Macpherson, longevity is an issue that should be addressed proactively from an early age. Macpherson advises embedding healthy habits into your routine from your mid-20s, including getting good sleep, exercising for at least 20-30 minutes a day, maintaining a balanced diet, and, in some cases, practicing fasting. These simple tricks can have a profound impact on aging healthily and are accessible to everyone. Macpherson also highlights the benefits of exercising and balanced fasting as effective methods of promoting longevity.

It’s never too late:

While starting healthy habits in your 20s is ideal, Professor Rachel Cooper emphasizes that it is never too late to work on healthy longevity. Cooper, a U.K.-based aging expert, suggests that avoiding bad habits like smoking and excessive drinking is crucial from the beginning. She also emphasizes that every life stage presents an opportunity for improvement, whether it’s through education about being healthy or trying different types of physical activities like resistance training and cardiovascular exercise. Cooper also stresses the importance of maintaining social connections, as those who have full social lives tend to live healthier lives for longer.

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Fear of aging:

The fear of aging is a common misconception, as longer lifespans do not necessarily equate to prolonged suffering. A survey conducted by Harris Poll and Pfizer found that 87% of Americans were afraid of getting old. Macpherson argues that ageism and the misconception that aging means suffering need to be addressed. He believes that aging is at the core of many health problems, and the goal for experts is to delay the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Macpherson predicts that preventative wellness could surpass pharmaceuticals in the next 20 years, allowing individuals to proactively address health issues before they occur. Cooper adds that aging should be seen as an opportunity for individuals to continue contributing to society, rather than being associated with frailty and vulnerability.

Aging inequality:

As global life expectancy continues to rise, there is a growing concern about aging inequality. The World Health Organization warns that economic output and healthcare services will come under pressure as the global population ages faster than ever before. The case of Bryan Johnson, who has the financial resources to pursue extensive research and development into aging well, highlights the issue of aging inequality. Macpherson stresses the need to combat inequality in aging early on, making longevity accessible to all. Cooper cautions that policies aimed at increasing life expectancy can potentially widen the gap between the wealthy and the less privileged. However, she believes that aging also presents an opportunity to close this gap by addressing the poor health often seen among economically deprived demographics.

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Conclusion:

Aging well is within reach for everyone, regardless of their financial means. By incorporating healthy habits from a young age, maintaining social connections, and dispelling the fear associated with growing old, individuals can enjoy a healthier and happier life as they age. It is essential for societies to address aging inequality early on and make longevity accessible to all. Aging should be seen as an opportunity for individuals to continue contributing to society, rather than being framed as a burden. As the world grapples with the challenges of an aging population, embracing healthy longevity is not only a personal choice but also a collective responsibility.

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