An older adult between the age of ninety to ninety-five is called a nonagenarian. These are people that have almost hit the centurion mark. Now, how cool is that? Apparently, a lot of people desire this type of long life but do they have the secret to it? Yes, there are secrets to aging well if not a lot more people will be living over their nineties but we only have a few of them out there. If you are thinking the secret is to reduce your stress levels and cholesterol count, well although that counts we can’t call it a secret because the doctors keep resounding it in our years every now and then. In fact, there has been an impressive increase in the number of people going on a healthy diet.
If your goal is to live a long and healthy life, you should perhaps focus on making friends, giving up your cigarette sticks, and fighting those waistlines for good. You weren’t expecting such otherwise trivial things to be listed as secrets right? Well, they are and these are wisdom tips coming from the Adult Development study conducted at Harvard. It is the most comprehensive and longest examination ever conducted on the issue of aging. Since the early 1930s, several research studies have been conducted on over eight hundred men and women. This research followed the participants from their adolescence to old age in search of behavioral clues that result in a healthy and long life.
The results from those researchers were not even what the conductors anticipated. A psychiatrist name George Valliant, the medical director of the study said he had expected the influential factors to age well was the quality of one’s childhood, cholesterol levels, and the parent’s longevity. He admitted surprise these variables were not of more importance than they are.
Stressful events did not also predict the health of one’s future. Valiant observed that although some people went through stress, they aged well. However, the way one deals with stress matters a bit.
Rather than getting obsessed over your genetics or the level of your cholesterol, this study discovered that humans are better off getting occupied with the following significant factors which happen to be more predictive in whether they would successfully move through their middle years into old age:
- Avoiding cigarettes
- Good coping skills or adjustment (if you get lemons to make lemonade)
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Regular exercise
- Maintaining social relationships, including marriage
- Getting education
Wooden Allen said nobody leaves this world alive but while we are at it we might as well stay happy and healthy, says Valiant.
Valiant mentioned some ingredients needed fa or long life in his book titled ‘aging well’. It would surprise you how many of these secrets are within your control.
To age successfully you need others to help you achieve this. These ‘others’ could be your spouse, bridge partners, fellow churchgoers, offspring or siblings. They are vital for good aging health.
One of the participants of this Harvard study by the name Richard Lucky lived a life that was surrounded by a lot of people. He had dinner with friends, interact with his biological children, grandchildren, and family friends. He set sail to Bali with his spouse during his 70s and started a book on the war. He told the Harvard researchers that he is making sure to live in the present, to enjoy good health and life while at it.
Some other studies confirm the effect of social relationships on promoting health. One such study observed adults within their 70s for a period of seven years and discovered that the adults who maintained their social relationship at a satisfying level were more mentally alert during the study with reduced mental decline compared to the adults who were lonely.
There is no clarity as to how social networks help in keeping a person healthy but some research shows that people who live by themselves eat less and this could jeopardize their mental and physical well-being. Individuals with a social life have stronger immune systems. Again this is still not fully understood.
Alcoholics or depressed persons most likely lack personal relationships and social support and this is not good. Both factors when present indicated your life is going pretty well.
A behavioral scientist said the people in a person’s life can make him or her feel cared for and lived and this can improve one’s mental health. Also, a close friend or spouse can remind you to take a walk or use your medications and this is to your health benefit as well.
Having someone around makes you feel needed, loved and significant and this can spur your desire to live on but on the contrary, a lonely person may see no reason to fight for life.
One thing that stops a lot of people from achieving set goals is procrastination. They read about a meal plan, exercise routine, job opportunity, and they push it backward saying ” I will do it later.” Being the amazing humans that we are these, we get immersed in other activities that we soon forget these procrastinate plans and might remember it at the point where it is either too late or where we have to do it under pressure.
The advice we give to you after reading through this article is to start now. Check your present lifestyle, is it leading you to the older life you desire. If the answer is no then beginning to make the necessary changes. If you answer yes, set to keep at it, don’t stop. Keep pushing on.
The journey to becoming a nonagenarian starts today. It is possible to live a long, healthy, and active life. Your grandchildren and children will be grateful to have you actively around a little while longer.