Utah is home to some of the healthiest, happiest, and youngest-looking seniors in the U.S. What exactly do they put in the water that is making seniors well in their 80s seem like they barely reached 60?
An Outdoor Lifestyle
From Provo to Salt Lake City, Utah residents adhere to an outdoor lifestyle. Salt Lake City ranks at the top of the nation when it comes to residents who are physically younger than their chronological (actual) age. A retiree from another state might need a healthy dose of Botox to appear “young enough” to associate with people their age. One reason for Utahn’s youthful appearance is proper weight maintenance. Utahns consistently rank at the bottom when it comes to obesity rates, and credit goes to their regimen of exercise or regular physical activity (walking, gardening, etc.).
Obesity during your early years can have a tremendous impact later in life. Your knees will be worn out, and you can be racked with a multitude of conditions associated with obesity, including diabetes, heart problems, and a higher risk of cancer. Get a bit of exercise every day, even if it’s just a 15- to 30-minute walk around the block.
Very few Utahns smoke or drink alcohol regularly. Smoking is one of the leading causes of visible skin aging. The toxins in cigarettes send free radicals and particulates into your lungs, some of which get absorbed into your body. The toxins in cigarettes damage your body’s natural stores of collagen and elastin, leaving your skin vulnerable to wrinkling and sagging.
Alcohol is also one substance that causes premature aging, though its effects are rather more internal. Chronic consumption of alcohol can lead to hypertension, heart problems, increased risks of certain types of cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, bone loss, and decreased cognitive functions. These are symptoms that usually manifest when one gets older.
The effects of smoking can be reversed once you ditch the habit — often taking a month or so to recover your collagen and elastin levels and bring your skin back to normal. The effects of alcohol can also be reversed, including liver damage. Once you refrain or limit your drinking, your body can heal from the effects of alcohol in as little as three to four months.
Happiness keeps you young, and social interactions are the best way to stay happy. Utahns cultivate and maintain strong bonds with their family, friends, church congregation, and community. Meaningful social interactions keep your mind active while also triggering the release of oxytocin in your body.
Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter that has gained the moniker of being the “love hormone.” It fills you with feelings of happiness and acceptance while getting rid of negative thoughts that could lead to depression. Regular social interactions keep your mind working, staving off Alzheimer’s and keeping your wits sharp for the rest of your days.
Utahns may have found the secret of growing old but staying young. “Life Elevated” takes on a whole different meaning, especially when it pertains to fitness, clean living, and healthy relationships.