There seems to be some debate over whether Winston Churchill ever actually said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” But, regardless of the ultimate source of this quote, it’s a pretty good description of how we should counter stress-related aging, according to a new study from the University of California, San Francisco.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices Matter After 60

The study showed that healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating well, getting better sleep and exercising can counter the process of stress-related cellular aging. In other words, fighting back against stress, in a positive way, is a great way to protect your body from unnecessary damage.

These results are encouraging because they show that cellular aging is not just a matter of genetics.

We can also influence how our body ages through the choices that we make every day.

Take Action to Fight Stress-Related Aging

Beyond the direct benefits to our bodies of exercise, sleep and good nutrition, healthy lifestyle choices are also important because of what they help us not to do.

When we are stressed, we are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors such as smoking or drinking too much alcohol. Reducing our stress in positive ways makes it less likely that we will turn to negative coping behaviors instead.

The good news is that you don’t need to take big steps to “keep moving.” Getting in better physical shape can start with a commitment to walk every day. Eating healthier can start with a decision to only buy dark chocolate, with greater than 70% cacao. Healthy living is a choice. So, decide what one thing you want to change about your lifestyle today. Your body and your brain will thank you.

Do you find it encouraging that we can counter stress-related cellular aging through healthy lifestyle choices? What one thing do you want to change about your lifestyle in order to get healthier? Please join the conversation.

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