Appointments: (831) 688-1332
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.
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.
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.
If you want to beat the average and maximize your longevity, what should you do? Here's a list of things to consider:
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