Eat healthier, exercise regularly to reach elusive old age

Want to live a longer life? Who doesn’t?

There’s a broad consensus on many of the best and most important practices to implement.

Foods that will help you live longer include brightly colored fruits and vegetables, dark chocolate, oily fish, green tea, olive oil, garlic, cranberries and coffee. Eat whole grains and substitute healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats for unhealthy saturated fats and trans fats.

Sprinkle fruit on breakfast cereal, and select it for snacks or as a sweet-end note after meals.

Studies reveal that a healthy diet can help sidestep ailments that plague people more as they age, including heart disease, hypertension, cancer and cataracts. Take a daily multivitamin, and be sure to get enough calcium and Vitamin D.

Living longer happens if you don’t smoke, enjoy physical activities every day, and maintain a healthy weight and body shape. A daily exercise commitment to walk or start a fitness program is a great way to improve your life expectancy, your health and your energy level.

You also should continue to challenge your mind. Keep learning and trying new activities. Build a strong social network both in person and online while remembering to also get outside for a small amount of sun and fresh air.

Learn techniques for stress reduction and management during the day, such as meditation or deep breathing. Practice good sleep techniques by turning off screens and relaxing an hour before you go to bed.

Those who live longest usually faithfully follow preventive care and screening guidelines. If a test shows a problem, ask your doctor if medication can help control the potential long-term side effects of chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, osteoporosis or high cholesterol. Lose weight if needed with the help of a doctor and, possibly, a nutritionist or personal trainer.