Live longer forever. That’s the title of a 90 minute movie I just saw which attempted to identify the factors in living life longer by interviewing some scientists as well as a dozen or so of the healthiest and oldest individuals on the planet. Longevity was defined not as only living longer but living longer with a reasonable degree of health and independence.
As a psychologist practicing in Boca Raton, Florida I have a number of elderly clients I work with as well as have opportunities to interact with a number “super seniors” who live, work and play in the community.
Suzanne Sommers believes that taking a regimen of hormones along with her continued involvement in fitness will allow her to age successfully into her 100’s.
Some research indicates that calorie restriction, that is eating around 1500 calories a day, is one of the important behaviors associated with longevity. A vegetarian diet, and movement, whether through direct exercise, hobbies or work had strong associations with longevity.
Jack La Lanne claimed he was exercising 2 hours a day and drinking fresh squeezed juices and vegetables into his 90’s.
A yoga based “laughter program” was advocated as a key to longevity bases on the idea that laughter creates more oxygen for the body and brain.
The mind needs to be exercised as well and there are centers opening with computer based game programs designed to strength mental faculties the same way lifting weights strengthens muscles.
From a psychological perspective generally, reducing stress by not worrying, nor sticking rigidly to time demands, having something you look forward to doing each day and not holding grudges were some of the behaviors and attitudes conveyed by those who had achieved longevity.
By committing to making and maintaining sensible life style changes and getting professional help and support when needed, many more of us will be able to live longer forever.