A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s Internal Medicine found that older people who feel younger than their chronological age may actually live longer than people who aren’t young at heart.
The study was based on responses from 6,500 men and women aged 52 and older — with an average age of 65 — who were polled by researchers at University College London. The participants were asked, “How old do you feel you are?”
About 70% of the respondents said they felt three or more years younger than their actual chronological age, about 25% said they felt close to their actual age, and about 5% said they felt at least one year younger than their actual age, according to the study.
Researchers then went back eight years later to see how many of the study’s participants were still living. What they discovered is truly astonishing:
- 75% of those who felt older than their age were still alive
- 82% of those who felt their actual age remained living
- 86% of those who felt younger than their age were still alive
Feeling Younger May Extend Your Life
The researchers concluded that there was a direct relationship between self-perceived age and cardiovascular death. That’s because feeling younger may lead to healthier living habits. When you feel older, it seems to have a direct bearing on health.
People who feel younger tend to exercise more. There are proven health benefits to exercising at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
Diet also can affect health. People who feel older tend to pay less attention to the healthiness of the food they consume. But people who feel younger want to take more care of their bodies. So they tend to eat better and healthier foods.
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