Herbalife Nutrition Expert Shares Tips to Support Longevity

5 Tips on Healthy Aging and How to Live a Longer Life

Populations with extreme longevity, where a large number of people live for 100 years or more, have a few traits in common: a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, regular physical activity, and strong social networks.

It’s interesting how the foundation of overall wellbeing is that simple. And while only a small percentage of the population can expect to live more than a hundred years, there may be some good habits that these centenarians model for us.

To support a healthy aging process, you need to take care of the body and mind. Here are some ways you can start practicing the longevity lifestyle today:

1. Start Exercising Your Brain Early

Once cognitive function starts to decline – around 40-45 years –it’s difficult or impossible to recover. That’s why a focus on early intervention and protecting a healthy brain, instead of attempting extensive repair, is so vital. Research has consistently shown that cognitive stimulation exercises – such as reading, word games, or learning a new skill – can help sustain and improve memory, processing speed, attention, and perception.

Like a muscle, the brain appears to perform better when it gets regular exercise. Mental stimulation has been shown to activate neural circuits and is associated with lower Alzheimer’s risk. Educational achievements, bilingualism, or doing puzzles have all been shown to lower the risk of dementia. Memory training can also improve memory recall and help you maintain higher cognitive performance for five or more years.

2. Eat Healthier and Be Active

Studies have shown that people who get regular cardiovascular conditioning have larger parietal, temporal, and frontal brain areas, which indicate a stronger cognitive performance.

Pairing exercise with a balanced diet supports brain health and cardiovascular health. Keep a healthy weight by:

Remember that these are tactics for maintaining a healthy body, as nutrition and exercise alone don’t prevent the onset of disease or reverse the effects of aging.

3. Mind Your Medicine

It’s important to partner with your doctor to manage your wellness. Medicines for treating hypertension and high cholesterol are associated with better brain health and longer life expectancy.

4. Master the Environment

It’s also vital to create a healthy environment. Limit exposure to smoke, smog, mold, and other toxins. Avoid information overload, TV addiction, and clutter.

5. Keep a Positive Outlook

It’s true what they say: optimists live longer than pessimists. And optimism can be learned. Some find a positive outlook through spirituality or harmony with nature. Practicing mindfulness, yoga, or meditation can help you get started on this track.

Gary Small

Dr. Gary SmallMember, Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board and author of The Memory Bible

Dr. Gary Small is a professor of psychiatry and aging at UCLA, where he directs the Longevity Center, a past president of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry and a member of the Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board. Dr. Small was among the team of investigators that discovered the major known genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease and is a co-inventor of the first positron emission tomography scan method that can provide images of the physical evidence of Alzheimer’s disease in living people.