60 is the New 40: 5 Ways to Avoid the Age Trap

Active older couple

New research is backing up what you likely already feel: 60 is the new 40. Scientists attribute this shift to healthier living which means people hit "middle-age" later.

A just-released study from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and Stony Brook University published in the journal PLOS ONE, looked at the correlation between increasing life expectancy and the aging process. They concluded that the definition of old has changed, and will continue to change as people live longer, healthier lives.

Chronological vs. Biological Age

Traditionally, a person was categorized as “old” at a specific age, often 65. Not so anymore. This latest study highlights the fact that your chronological age (the number of years you’ve lived) isn’t your biological or true age.

A recent TODAY survey of 1,500 adults between ages 45-69 validates the science: 72 percent of respondents said they felt younger than their chronological age. And people look forward to a lot of living after age 60 – everything from taking on new adventures to starting new careers.

So, how do you continue to defy the numbers and stay out of the age trap?

5 Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Exercise regularly. Staying active is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Exercise not only helps you maintain a healthy weight and build healthier bones, it also helps you think more clearly. National Institute on Aging studies show a connection between exercise and better brain power. So, get up off the couch and move. The CDC says older adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (like brisk walking) each week.
  • Eat well. Consume a healthy diet consisting of low-fat proteins, whole grains and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Don’t forget the omega-3 fatty acids to keep your mind sharp and your heart healthy, and calcium for bone health and osteoporosis prevention.
  • Manage your stress. Studies show that stress causes physical changes that can speed up aging and take a toll on physical and emotional health. Engage in activities you enjoy. Be social. Enjoy life by keeping your body and brain active.
  • Don’t smoke. If you do smoke stop. Quitting smoking can still positively impact your health, no matter how old you are.
  • Know your numbers: Check in with your doctor regularly to stay on top of important numbers and preventive screenings. High cholesterol and high blood pressure impact your heart and your health.
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R. Scott DeLong, MD

R. Scott DeLong, MD, is a doctor with Lancaster General Health Physicians Geriatrics.

Education: A graduate of Franklin & Marshall College, Penn State University College of Medicine and the Lancaster General Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program, Dr. DeLong also served a geriatric fellowship with LG Health. His areas of expertise include dementia, geriatric medicine, and nursing home care.

Call: 717-544-3022

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


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