Many people assume the genetic hand they received at birth is the biggest factor in determining how long they will live. Although it is true that genetic traits you inherited from each parent can make you more vulnerable to certain health conditions, how and where you live appear to play an even bigger role.

According to the author of the book Live Long, Die Short, lifestyle choices among older adults account for as much as a 50 percent difference in retaining strong cognitive abilities and up to a 70 percent improvement in physical health. If you feel concerned about your cognitive, emotional, or physical health, take heart and keep reading for some valuable lifestyle improvement tips.

Purpose and Connection with Others

Everyone needs a reason to get out of bed in the morning. When you were working, raising children, or both, it seemed like there was never enough time in the day to complete everything you needed to do. Now that you’re retired or about to be, you probably have much more time on your hands.

For the sake of your longevity and happiness, it is crucial to use this time to your advantage by participating in meaningful activities and connecting with other people whenever possible. Whether you volunteer to serve in the community, become active in your church, or join a social group, the important thing is to find something that gives you a sense of purpose. Even if you have an introverted personality, remember that human beings need each other and try to connect with at least one person a day if you can.

Consuming a Healthy Diet

From diabetes to heart disease to hypertension, you can prevent or delay the development of many chronic health conditions by the foods you eat. Aim to maintain a healthy weight by choosing fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts, and grains whenever possible. At the same time, be sure to avoid consuming too much fat, cholesterol, salt, and sugar. While there is nothing wrong with the occasional treat, you will feel much better eating a balanced diet and moving your body as much as you can.

Climate and Environment Matter

People who live in milder climates have the opportunity to get out more, so it is no wonder they often feel happier than those who live in climates with long, harsh winters. As you consider where to retire, remember that Florida has near-ideal temperatures all year long. The high temperature averages 60 degrees in January and 80 degrees in July throughout the state. Although no climate is perfect and Florida has its share of storms, you will be the envy of your friends and family in snowy climates if you decide to make it your home.

A safe environment is also crucial when aiming to live long. With falls a leading cause of injury and death in older Americans, your home should have proper lighting and no tripping hazards for starters. You may also find that household chores such as mowing the lawn, shoveling snow in cold climates, and repairs take up more of your time and energy than you would like as you age. This is all the more reason to consider moving to a 55+ active Solivita Living community. Please contact us to learn more or to arrange a showing.