Age is just a number, right? Sure, but as we reach our 60s, the thought of getting older can creep upon us. But instead of worrying over wrinkles and gray hair, we can focus on how we can get the most out of the second half of our lives.
If you’ve been over 60 for a while, and haven’t had any health problems, you may wonder what’s keeping you alive. Does it matter how you eat? How much exercise do you get? Any kind of therapy?
Well, yes, all that kind of thing does matter. But, unfortunately, the only answers that count are personal ones. Everyone has different genes, different lifestyles, different perceptions of risk. That’s why medical research is so difficult. There are no surefire strategies, no shortcuts.
But there are things that everyone who is over 60 can do to lengthen his or her life.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking is bad for every organ in your body. But it’s especially dangerous for your lungs, which are already damaged by years of smoking. If you’re over 60, you should be especially careful about avoiding secondhand smoke. And no, it doesn’t help to drink brandy instead.
- Eat a healthy diet. That means lots of fruits and vegetables. Don’t skimp on protein either. Protein helps keep your muscles strong.
- Get some exercise. Exercise helps your heart and lungs. It also helps your circulation, which is important in keeping your heart healthy.
- Stay mentally active. Because you spend a lot of time lying down, it’s especially important to keep your mind active. It helps your brain stay healthy.
- Don’t take unnecessary risks. If you have a family history of cancer, or if you have other health problems, don’t start smoking, or drinking, or doing drugs.
- These tips won’t guarantee that you’ll live for another twenty years or even ten years. But they should extend your life by at least a few.
- Don’t expect miracles. These are general guidelines. People differ widely in how they follow them. What works best for someone might not be as good for another person.