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What is Longevity?

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Updated June 07, 2007

Definition: long life, a great duration of life, coming from the Latin longaevitās. In this word, you can see the words longus (long) and aevum (age).

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 life. If you live longer than the average person, then you could be said to have longevity. Striving for you maximum potential age is the goal of longevity. This can be reached through creating healthy behaviors and attitudes. Biologists sometimes define longevity as:

the average life span expected under ideal conditions.

So while the life expectancy of people in the US is somewhere around 78, our longevity might be much higher. We all might live longer if we can create the ideal conditions of a healthy diet and exercise.

You may think that your genes determine your longevity, but the truth is that 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 healthy. So make a commitment today to make a one healthy change a week. Before you know you’ll be feeling better and on the road to longevity.

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