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Secret Health Tricks for People Over 60, Say Doctors

Some of them may surprise you.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab

The fundamentals of good health are pretty basic, experts say, and they remain so as you age. But science is constantly uncovering evidence that certain habits can reduce the effects of aging and increase longevity. These are some health tricks you may not associate with aging well (but should, experts say). Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs COVID is Hurting You—Even After a Negative Test.

1

Just 10 Minutes of Exercise Could Extend Your Life

Back view of senior woman following an online stretching class looking at TV screen.
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Getting regular exercise is one of the best things you can do to keep your body and brain healthy after age 60. What most people realize is that it doesn't take a lot. A new study found that getting just 10 minutes of daily exercise can extend the life of older adults. (Of course, more is always better.) Exercise leads to "compression of morbidity," meaning it helps you stay healthy longer in the golden years instead of battling chronic illness, says Johns Hopkins Medicine.

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2

Try Not to Eat Alone

mature women eating dinner together smiling
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Many studies have found that loneliness can increase your risk of serious illness. Being lonely stresses the body, which can compromise the immune system and encourage unhealthy behaviors. One example: A study published last November found that older women who eat alone have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Eating alone is a risk factor for depression, which is associated with heart disease. People who eat alone are more likely to eat faster and consume less healthy foods. 

RELATED: Never Do This After Age 60, Experts Warn

3

Consume a Mediterranean Diet

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A study released last month found that one eating regimen in particular—the Mediterranean diet —is associated with a lower risk of dying in adults over 65. That's a diet that emphasizes fruits and vegetables, whole grain, good fats like olive oil, fish and lean protein, while limiting red meat and added sugar. 

RELATED: Most People Get Alzheimer's This Way, Experts Say

4

Prioritize Social Interaction

Senior woman and daughter with face masks having coffee with safety distance
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Consider socializing—which exercises your brain—as important as physical exercise after age 60, experts say. "Prolonged social isolation leads to memory loss, and that loneliness is a risk factor for cognitive decline, dementia and even death," said CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. "It becomes all the more imperative to fight back against loneliness and remain socially engaged."

RELATED: Experts Share Tips for Reversing Memory Loss

5

Reduce Stress

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Last month, a study from the American Heart Association found that men who are anxious and worry more may be at higher risk for developing heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes (also known as cardiometabolic disease) as they age. Why? Stress seriously wears on the body. A recent Yale University study found that chronic stress can actually make your biological clock tick faster, increasing the risk of heart disease, addiction, and mood disorders. It can also influence metabolism, raising your chance of obesity-related disorders like diabetes. And to live your healthiest life, don't miss this life-saving advice I'm a Doctor and Here's the #1 Sign You Have Cancer.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been published on Beachbody and Openfit. A contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview, and many others. Read more
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