Mental wellness

What Do We Know About Healthy Aging?

Many factors influence healthy aging. Some of these, such as genetics, are not in our control. Others — like exercise, a healthy diet, going to the doctor regularly, and taking care of our mental health — are within our reach. Research supported by NIA and others has identified actions you can take to help manage your health, live as independently as possible, and maintain your quality of life as you age. Read on to learn more about the research and the steps you can take to promote healthy aging.


There are many ways to build and sharpen cognitive and memory skills—no matter your age.

You’re not alone if you feel like you need more time to remember something as you get older. Forgetfulness is a normal part of aging. Whether your momentary memory loss is linked to juggling too many things or to menopausal brain fog, there are ways to reduce how often forgetfulness happens.

Experts say you can boost your chances of remembering what you’re forgetting if you start treating your brain right (no matter your age). Here are some ideas—some classic, and some newer—to help you stay sharp.

Read article in Health magazine

65 Funny Quotes About Getting Older and Quotes About Aging

Funny Quotes About Getting Older

“Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life.” Kitty O’Neill Collins

“You can live to be a hundred if you give up all things that make you want to live to be a hundred.” Woody Allen

“It’s paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone.” Andy Rooney

“You know you’re getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you’re down there.” George Burns

Cognitive decline: pets could benefit older adults who live alone

Adopting a furry companion at an advanced age could prove useful in the fight against dementia, Chinese experts suggest.
Dog and cat sleeping peacefully together, best friends

… results show that pet ownership was associated with a slower decline in composite verbal cognition, particularly necessary for communicating, reading and writing; and also with a slower decline in verbal memory and verbal fluency.

Read the article in FMT

Following a program of physical exercise combined with cognitive training can greatly help older people with mild cognitive impairment, a national study finds.

Symptoms of mild cognitive impairment in the elderly can be slowed or even reversed if they follow a combined program of physical exercise and cognitive training, according to the results of a clinical study of 175 seniors diagnosed with the disorder.

Published in July in JAMA Network Open, the study was done by researchers at five Canadian universities led by Dr. Louis Bherer, a medical professor at Université de Montréal and director of the EPIC Centre at the Montreal Heart Institute.

Several previous studies have measured the benefits of exercise, cognitive training and the taking of vitamin D supplements on the mental health of elderly people, but none had compared combinations of the three, with control groups for each. 

The team of researchers at UdeM, Western University, University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and University of British Columbia filled this gap by comparing the effectiveness of the three interventions in five combinations:

  • exercise, cognitive training and vitamin D;
  • exercise, cognitive training and vitamin D placebo;
  • exercise, sham cognitive training, and vitamin D;
  • exercise, sham cognitive training and vitamin D placebo;
  • stretching exercises, sham cognitive training and vitamin D placebo.

Five Ways Mindfulness Helps You Age Better

Research suggests that being more mindful in our everyday lives can protect our health as we age—and even help us live longer.

As I get older, I notice that my peers and I are starting to lose some of the abilities we once took for granted. Aging brings unwelcome changes in our physical fitness, joint health, cognition, and more. And, of course, our pending mortality looms larger for us than it did in our youth. 

What can we do to have more health and happiness in that later part of life? One possibility is to become more mindful.

For those who haven’t heard about this yet, mindfulness is a skill that involves paying attention to the present moment—your current thoughts, feelings, and sensations—and practicing acceptance (or non-judgmental awareness) of your experience. Mindfulness can be nurtured informally in your daily life, by focusing your attention on the changing nature of experience, or through deliberate meditation practices. Either way, it could be a boon for aging well.

While research is ongoing in this area, some recent experimental studies and reviews point to the many benefits of becoming more mindful in your elder years. Here is a summary of some of that research and what it has to teach us.

How Your Community and Relationships Drastically Affect Aging

When we talk about aging in America, we tend to hit the same talking points over and over again: watch your cholesterolkeep active, and don’t make doomscrolling a regular part of your bedtime routine. And while all of those tips are absolutely important to keep in mind, it’s equally crucial for your health that you spend an hour each week gossiping on the phone with a friend, never skip a practice with your bowling team, and reschedule that lunch date you canceled weeks ago. 

Countless studies in the last several decades have revealed a piece of information about longevity that may surprise you: Social connections don’t just improve your life emotionally, but physically and psychologically as well. 

“I know I’m getting old. I’m at the age now if I hear someone goes both ways, I figure it’s number one and number two.”

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