Myth #1: My genes determine my health.
Reality: It’s not unusual to assume that your life span and health will mirror that of your parents, but we know so much more than we used to about aging and staying healthy later in life. Good genetics are only part of the equation.
Dr. Roger Landry, author of Live Long, Die Short, says 70% of the physical differences and 50% of the intellectual differences between older adults who are healthier in later years and those who aren’t boil down to lifestyle choices.
Eating right, getting plenty of sleep, not smoking, limiting alcohol consumption and getting regular exercise all play a bigger role in your overall health and longevity than genetics.
Older adults who are engaged in meaningful activity and feel a sense of purpose in life tend to have lower rates of mortality and better health. Volunteering late in life is associated with reduced risk of hypertension, enhanced cognition, delayed physical disabilities and lower mortality rates.