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What’s More Important for Healthy Aging – Genetics or Behaviors?

Reporters love to write about the “strange tricks” that people use to reach their 100th birthdays in surprisingly good health. According to this article, centenarians have credited all kinds of “secrets” to a long and healthy live, including: olive oil, friends, a good cigar, laughter, volunteering, love and scotch.

What’s Really Driving Healthy Aging?

Reading these reports, you could be forgiven for believing that getting to 100 in great shape is more about luck than lifestyle choices. Or, perhaps 100-year-olds are like the X-Men, with genes that protect them from whatever the world throws at them.

On the other hand, scientists have shown repeatedly that exercise can help to keep your brain healthy as you age. In addition, it is clear that giving up bad habits, like smoking and drinking too much alcohol, can add years to your life.

I’d love to get your thoughts on this. Do you think that healthy aging is more a matter of genetics or behavior? Are we destined to age the way that our body wants us to? Or, is our future health more about the decisions that we make in the present?

Do you believe that we can influence whether we experience healthy aging? Why or why not? What steps have you taken to improve your health recently? Please join the conversation.


Here is a short video that I recorded about healthy aging.

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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