There are a lot of candles on that cake! Today, the average U.S. newborn can be expected to reach 80 years, and more and more people are living to 100 and beyond. Only 115 years ago, the average life expentancy in the United States was below 50. Why has there been such a dramatic change in longevity? While experts acknowledge that this change has less to do with genes then with advances in public health and healthy lifestyles, a new study has found that people who live longer have more longevity-associated variants in genes which had not been seen before.
Genes matter more and more as you age. However during the first 75 years of life, genes have a relatively small influence on longevity (accounting for only 20% to 25%). There are many other things you can do to prolong your life such as:
Be physically active daily.
Eat a healthy diet rich in whole grains, lean protein, vegetables and fruits.
Avoid unhealthy saturated fats and trans fats. Instead, use healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Be sure to get enough vitamin D and calcium.
Maintain a healthy weight and body shape.
Challenge your mind.
Build a strong social network.
Protect your sight and hearing.
Floss, brush, and see a dentist regularly.