Feeling ‘young at heart’ may increase lifespan

“Feeling young at heart wards off death, scientists find,” The Daily Telegraph reports.

A UK study found that people who reported feeling younger than their actual age were less likely to die than those who reported feeling their actual age or older.

The study in question asked almost 6,500 people in their 50s and over how old they actually felt, and followed them up over 99 months to identify any who died. It found that a quarter of people who feel considerably older than their actual age died over the following eight years, compared to only 14% of those who felt considerably younger. The difference remained even if the researchers took into account other factors (confounders) that could affect their risk of death, such as physical and mental health.

Still, the link between how old you feel and your health is likely to be very difficult to remove, even with the extensive efforts made in this study.

So, how do you feel younger? We would recommend staying as physically active as possible, connecting with others (possibly through volunteering) and trying out new activities, such as yoga (which, by coincidence, was shown today to possibly reduce the risk of heart disease).