BioTrends 2011: "New Age" Takes on a New Meaning: Youthful Aging

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November 9, 2010

If the Fountain of Youth really existed -- that magical spring supposedly sought after by Ponce de León and believed to restore health and youth -- would you drink from it? I'm not talking immortality here, simply enjoying better health and feeling more youthful. Just curious. 



This is a brief introduction to, and the first of several articles on, coping with aging, whether your own or that of a loved one. Gerontology is "coming of age," as the demographics of most developed countries are shifting toward longer life. Regions around the Caucasus Mountain are no longer the nearly-exclusive domain of centenarians. As a matter of fact, more than 340,000 people are 100 years old or older, according to the Census Bureau.

Although the Fountain of Youth is a myth, a couple of lifestyle habit "fountains" are widely acknowledged to help, including physical and mental exercise, good nutrition and a positive attitude. I won't list them all here, but do take a look at Secrets of Longevity offering a list of habits, diets and societal values common to geographic areas enjoying exceptionally high longevity. 



As you can see from the list, you don't have to live in Okinawa, Japan or Sardinia, Italy or even Loma Linda, California to live a long and healthy life. Although they are societal, you can choose to ameliorate the destructive elements of our "always on" society by adopting the cultural habits of people in the Blue Zones to your own lifestyle.



Dan Buettner, the team leader of The Blue Zones research project has two new books out (October 19, 2010), "The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest" and "Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way."

Category: BioTrends 2011
Filed under: Aging; Exercise; Mental Health; Psychology/Behavior