From the legendary Fountain of Youth to magical elixirs and pills, people have searched for the secret to long life. In his new book, The Longevity Bible, Dr. Gary Small presents common sense strategies for keeping the mind sharp and the body young. He says the two are closely linked. "If we can keep our brains young, our bodies will stay young, too. With a sharp mind, we're more likely to stay fit, to have good relationships, to eat right and have a healthy life-style."
You can implement some of Dr. Small's recommendations on your own - getting good nutrition, doing exercise, reducing stress. But the director of the UCLA Center on Aging says one important strategy requires other people - developing relationships.
"Socially-connected people live longer than isolated people," says Small. "We need to develop empathy skills, understand where the person is coming from emotionally, and we can teach those skills. Not everyone is an empathy expert, but there are some very simple attentive listening exercises, ways of getting inside the other person's emotional experience, which is the social glue that keeps us connected."
According to The Longevity Bible, keeping a positive outlook, learning to accept change, and taking advantage of new medicines and treatments will also add years to your life. Gary Small says scientific evidence indicates that adopting these lifestyle strategies lowers the risk for Alzheimer's disease, and actually increases life-expectancy, making us live longer, while adding to the quality of those years.