7539 Soquel Drive, Aptos, California 95003, United States

Appointments: (831) 688-1332

DR. Steven L. Ellis Osteopathic Physician Aptos Ca

DR. Steven L. Ellis Osteopathic Physician Aptos Ca

DR. Steven L. Ellis Osteopathic Physician Aptos CaDR. Steven L. Ellis Osteopathic Physician Aptos Ca



If you live longer than the average person, then you could be said to have longevity.  Striving for your maximum potential age is the goal of longevity. This  potentially can be reached by practicing healthy behaviors and  attitudes.


Longevity is defined as "long life" or "a great duration of life." The term comes from the Latin word longaevitās. In this word, you can see how the words longus (long) and aevum (age) combine into a concept that means an individual who lives a long time.

The most important part of this definition is the comparative nature of it. Long life implies longer than something—and that something is the average lifespan.

How Is Longevity Defined?  

Biologists sometimes define longevity as the average lifespan  expected under ideal conditions. It's hard to say what's ideal. Plenty  of medical research is ongoing about the "right" amount and type of  exercise to get, the best diet to eat to maximize longevity, and whether  certain pharmaceuticals or supplements can help improve your longevity.

Lifespans have increased pretty dramatically over the last century or so, in large part due to advances in medicine  that have nearly eliminated certain deadly infectious diseases.


The average baby born in 1900 lived about a half-century. Nowadays,  the life expectancy of people in the United States is nearly 79 years on  average—81 years for women and 76 years for men, and in some countries,  life expectancy is even longer.


It's very possible that humanity's true longevity might be much  higher. Humans might live longer if they can create the ideal conditions  of a healthy diet and exercise.

What Determines Your Longevity?  

You may think that your genes determine your longevity, but the truth  is genetics account for a maximum of 30 percent of your life  expectancy. The rest comes from your behaviors, attitudes, environment,  and a little bit of luck.


You may have heard about various life extension techniques. Keep in  mind that none of them have been proven in humans and most are just  theories. The only proven way to live longer is to live a healthy life.

5 Ways to Maximize Your Longevity  

If you want to beat the average and maximize your longevity, what should you do? Here's a list of things to consider:


  1. Exercise regularly. Research indicates that moderate exercise, when practiced regularly, can actually roll back the clock on your DNA.
  2. Fill up your plate with vegetables. While there are numerous debates about the best diet for increased lifespan, nearly every diet agrees that
  3. eating more vegetables is the way to go.
  4. Get enough sleep. Most people feel best when they get seven to nine hours of sleep a night.
  5. Carefully  manage your stress. Stress can have unhealthy effects on your body and  can promote unhealthy behaviors, as well, such as overeating or smoking.
  6. Cultivate  personal relationships. Spending time with our loved ones actually does  seem to improve longevity, maybe because it decreases stress or risky  behaviors.


Make a commitment today to make one healthy change a week. Before you  know you’ll be feeling better and on the road to longevity.


By  Mark Stibich, PhD     
Updated August 31, 2019