Since the beginning of time, people have been looking for ways to slow or even halt the aging process. And, if you’re like most individuals, you’ve been subjected to some guidelines that might have made you think getting older isn’t so bad after all. For example, many of us hear about how in order to live for a long time, it’s crucial to stay at a healthy weight, and refrain from drinking things like alcohol and coffee.
However, scientists recently performed an aging study that evaluated numerous residents of a retirement community in California called Laguna Woods. Since many of the people who live there are over 90 years of age and still going strong, it makes sense why they were prime candidates to offer insight about aging well.
The 90+ Study was led by researchers from UC Irvine’s Clinic for Aging Research and Education. Although the results did not discredit conventional wisdom entirely, some of the findings about aging may surprise you.
For example, as you probably expected, the study confirmed how smoking tended to shorten lifespan, while getting exercise prolonged it. However, the researchers found doing things like taking vitamins did not positively impact the aging process. There’s also good news for people carrying a little bit extra weight while getting through their golden years. Specifically, weighing slightly more than what is considered a healthy weight for your age and height might actually add years to your life, according to data gathered in the aging study.
This aging study has been ongoing for five years, and may cost as much as $10 million or more once it’s completed. Everyone who has participated in the research has undergone stringent testing, along with biannual monitoring. Many have also gone even further to support information about aging by voluntarily donating their bodies for the cause of science if they should happen to die while the study is taking place.
An impressive 1,600 people are involved in the aging research and all are at least 90 years of age. Although not all of the aging participants reside at Laguna Woods, many do. However, if you’re under the impression there might be something magical about that particular community of aging residents, that’s probably not the case.
Members of the aging team concluded although there was no single factor that caused people to live longer, being active is certainly important. That also includes being mentally and physically engaged while aging. Scientists also found us little as 15 minutes of exercise per day makes a difference to positively influence aging.
So what does the aging study tell us about getting older with grace, and even enjoying the transition? Perhaps that instead of swallowing vitamins that claim to improve longevity, being stressed out about being ten pounds overweight or going without that whiskey nightcap, we should all simply not sweat the small stuff and try to live as healthily as possible throughout life.