20 Very Important Habits Of People Who Age Extremely Well

Want to look amazing in 20 years?

Last updated on Apr 27, 2023

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Another year older, another year wiser. But are you aging gracefully? There are some ways to determine whether you are aging gracefully.

Do you feel like age is just a number and you feel the same? Can you still do everything you used to be able to do? Have you avoided any diseases? If you've said yes to all of these, you may just be aging well.

What does it mean to age well?

As defined by Dr. John Rowe, Professor of Health Policy and Aging at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, aging well is "the ability to maintain a low risk of disease-related disability, a high mental and physical function, and an active engagement with life."


That is, you don't need to be put into a nursing or retirement home because you can live by yourself. Some physical signs of aging well are fewer wrinkles, hydrated skin, and minimal hair loss.

But now, I bestow upon you the wisdom to extend your life and maybe look a bit younger. Here are some great habits of people who age well.

RELATED: Here’s How I Learned To Fall In Love With Aging (One Wrinkle At A Time)


20 Habits Of People Who Age Well

1. They don't exfoliate too often.

It turns out that scrubbing away at your skin can cause aging.

"By over-exfoliating, you're actually removing the only protective barrier that your skin has," says Dr. Ben Johnson. Take it easy with your exfoliation regimen and keep it to one to two times per week.

2. They have a skincare regimen.

If you want to age gracefully, it's essential to stick to a skincare regimen. Incorporate topical retinoid therapy to prevent wrinkles, and lightening creams to even out your complexion.

3. They continue to learn.

Learning helps keep your mind alert, which is important as you age, especially with many brain diseases that older adults suffer from like Alzheimer's and dementia. Continuing to learn keeps up their cognitive health and slows the progress of decline.


4. They practice great oral hygiene.

Using an electric toothbrush can improve gum health and minimize bacteria growth. Good oral health begins with healthy gums and reduces the amount of bacteria in the body. The cleaner your mouth, the healthier your body.

"Brushing your tongue can minimize bad breath, enhance the taste of food and allow your mouth to feel cleaner. Eliminating bad breath can be an enormous confidence booster. Simple tongue scrapers are a handy tool to keep by your sink," says Dr. Alex Rubinov, DDS.

5. They don't wear tons of makeup.

Makeup can actually accentuate your age. If you cake on a ton of makeup, it emphasizes wrinkles and points out sagging skin. Stick to less or lighter makeup as you age and you will look amazing.

6. They get enough sleep.

Sleep is a priority for people who age gracefully. They keep a regular sleep schedule and get the recommended 7-8 hours each night, no less than. Sleep also combats diseases like hypertension and heart disease, so be sure to get enough rest.


7. They make sure to wear SPF every single day.

Sun protection is key to keeping your skin and body healthy. "The sun is the most powerful energy source, so why would you want it beating against the only thing protecting your body?" explains Dr. Johnson.

"Anytime your skin is overexposed to the sun, it has to work overtime to try to protect itself, which can cause it to weaken and create sun spots, aging skin, and wrinkles."

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8. They limit TV use.

An Australian study published in the "British Journal of Sports Medicine" found that people who watch TV actually shorten their lifespan. If you watch 6-7 hours of TV a day, you shorten your lifespan by 5 years. That's not worth a "Gossip Girl" binge!


9. They stay actively involved in their communities.

Work, volunteer, and change the world. Above all, spend your time with people of all ages.

"Do not live in retirement communities or spend your time with only people your own age. The more variety in the ages of the people in your life, the more likely older adults remain youthful and share their wisdom," says Dr. Erika Schwartz, a pioneer in the health and wellness space.

10. They keep a positive mindset

Happiness causes a longer life, at least according to one study. Being positive can actually save your life or prolong it.

The study found out that in a group of older people, those who stated they were happy were 35% less likely to die within 5 years. See your glass as overflowing and you will age gracefully.


11. They eat well-portioned meals.

To age well, pay attention to the size of the meals you are eating.

"These are meals that should be smaller as you age, and are mostly composed of protein and vegetable fat. Eat your largest meal in the morning, the smallest meal in the evening," recommends Dr. Schwartz.

12. They enjoy their work.

If you hate your job, you're going to have extreme amounts of stress put on you. For people who age well, they get a job they like or create a job out of something they love to do. This will make your life more fulfilling and you will wake up each morning excited to begin your day.

More importantly, keep working. Having that constant responsibility not only helps you with your day, but can also distract you from losses in your life as you grow older.


13. They have lots of sex.

Sex has been shown to release Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which has been titled the Fountain of Youth by doctors and celebrities alike.

"HGH injections are expensive, hard to come by, and controversial. But not to worry — your body releases HGH while you are having sex," says Rachele Marsh, fitness expert, body consultant, and health coach.

"British psychologist Dr. David Weeks claims that people with a healthy sex life can look five to seven years younger than those who are lacking in that department. Sex also increases blood circulation, which is good for your heart while providing a healthy glow to your skin," Marsh continues.

RELATED: One Big Thing Women Can Do To Balance Their Hormones As They Age


14. They prioritize their health.

Health is high up on the priority list to age gracefully. And that means all areas of health — medical, mental, emotional, and so on.

In order to grow old, you have to make sure your body, mind, and spirit are taken care of. Get regular checkups and practice mindfulness to age gracefully in this world.

15. They use homemade remedies but aren't opposed to medical help.

There are people who believe that taking a spoonful of apple cider vinegar, a swig of Geritol, and a multivitamin every day will help get you into your 90s. Homemade remedies are great resources for taking care of your body since humans have existed long before modern medication has.

However, people who age gracefully also know when to call in extra help from medical professionals.


16. They refrain from drinking alcohol and coffee.

The older you are, the less likely your body can process these toxins. According to Dr. Schwartz, the more toxic your body, the older you are. And the more toxins in your body, the more inflammation and chronic illnesses you're susceptible to.

17. They are open with their emotions.

To age gracefully, you cannot deny your emotions or how you feel, because it contributes to stress. People who age gracefully are open about how they feel and why they feel certain ways, and are especially open with love.

There is data that shows having a healthy marriage can reduce the risk of diseases.


18. They make exercise part of their daily routine.

Another big secret to aging gracefully is regular, intense exercise.

"Not boring treadmills or elliptical work; rather, high-intensity interval training and Tabata training. The latter is short bursts of activity interspersed with short rest periods. Obviously, eating right is important, but intense exercise actually reduces appetite," says board-certified rheumatologist, Nathan Wei, MD.

19. They laugh often.

Laughter really is the best medicine; not only does it bring joy into your life but reduces stress. One study found that, along with reducing stress, laughter helps prevent heart disease and boosts the immune system.

This certainly contributes to a longer life full of happiness!


20. They're adventurous.

When people are adventurous, it keeps their minds awake and thriving. Going off on adventures enriches your life as you get older. In fact, one study determined that trying new things and taking on challenges makes people stronger and happier.

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Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer who focuses on health, wellness, and relationships. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly.