It’s difficult to provide examples of healthy aging, as it can mean something slightly different to each individual. Broadly speaking, healthy aging allows you to continue living life in a way that is meaningful to you whilst being able to maintain your basic needs and contribute to your community and society. It’s about enjoying a high quality of life for longer. Because your cells are intrinsically connected to your body’s health and aging process, taking care of them contributes to your overall quality of life – now and beyond.
The World Health Organization describes healthy aging as “the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables wellbeing in older age. Functional ability is about having the capabilities that enable all people to be and do what they have reason to value.”
Why is research on healthy aging important?
People are living longer than they ever have before – and with this comes an increased need to understand how to age healthily. The World report on ageing and health states, “For the first time in history, most people can expect to live into their 60s and beyond. The consequences for health, health systems, their workforce and budgets are profound.” The report goes on to explain, “If people are experiencing these extra years in good health, their ability to do the things they value will have few limits.”.
What factors lead to healthy aging?
The aging process is multifaceted. Not every aspect of this process is within your control – there's not much that can be done about the role genetics play in aging, for example. But there are so many other aspects that are within your control. Researchers have discovered multiple small actions that can be taken to create a healthy aging ripple effect, allowing you to function at your best for longer. The most important of these actions include caring for your cells and living a healthy lifestyle.
Caring for your cells
It’s well understood by experts that aging begins on a cellular level. The WHO states that “ageing results from the impact of the accumulation of a wide variety of molecular and cellular damage over time. This leads to a gradual decrease in physical and mental capacity”.
Because of this, many scientists are interested in finding new and improved ways to support cell health. Researchers from Harvard T.H Chan’s School of Public Health are invested in studying how aging occurs on a molecular level and finding ways to better support healthy aging through this research. Other research papers have established that oxidative stress is a key influence on the aging process. This is where MitoQ provides a way to care for your cells and support healthy aging: it has been scientifically proven to fight oxidative stress and other causes of cell stress. Multiple independent studies have found MitoQ significantly fights oxidative stress, supporting healthy aging as well as cardiovascular health, leg extension power in older adults, cycling performance and more.
Living a healthy lifestyle
According to the National Institute on Aging, day-to-day things you can do to support healthy aging include:
- Exercising (aim for 8,000+ steps per day)
- Eating healthy (Mediterranean diets support nutrition & healthy aging)
- Regular health check-ups
- Taking care of your mental health (click here for inspiration)
- Getting enough sleep (check out this blog for guidance)
- Spending plenty of time with loved ones
- Investing time in creative hobbies that bring you joy
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Quitting smoking/never starting
So many studies have been published on the connection between lifestyle and quality of life in older generations. A standout one is the Ohsaki Study, which investigated the sense of a life worth living “ikigai” and mortality in Japan. It found an undeniable connection between quality of life and length of life.
Another famous study, known as “the longest study on happiness”, found that the quality of our relationships has a significant impact on our ongoing health. The study, carried out over nearly 80 years by Harvard University, concluded that people who are happy in their relationships are healthier and happier throughout their lives.
Healthy aging takeaways
In summary, if you want to make the most of every moment in your life – the following steps are great places to start:
✔ Combat cell stress with MitoQ
✔ Invest in your physical, mental and emotional health
✔ Get regular health check-ups
✔ Live a healthy lifestyle
✔ Do more of what brings you joy
✔ Spend more time with the people you love
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