The difference between longevity and anti-aging can be subtle. Longevity usually refers to life expectancy. The word longevity comes from the Latin word longaevitas, which comes from longus, or long, and aevum, or age. Anti-aging usually refers to fighting signs of aging that give the appearance of age or to lifestyle disciplines and healthy life choices that lead to living longer. Interestingly, many of the same behaviors work toward accomplishing both of these goals.
While they are two different concepts, longevity and anti-aging share common tools that help a person both live longer and look younger. Anti-aging medicine, also called life extension or biomedical gerontology, is associated with medical attempts to slow or reverse the aging process. Both longevity and anti-aging efforts benefit from these endeavors. Scientists continually study methods of tissue rejuvenation in the hope of making discoveries that help patients live longer in a more youthful state.
Those seeking both longevity and anti-aging benefits may utilize proven methods that are known to accomplish both goals. For example, maintaining a healthy diet benefits health, which may lead to longevity. A balanced diet also benefits skin, muscle and bone, resulting in a more youthful appearance.
Proper nutrition gives the body what it needs to fight diseases that may shorten longevity. For instance, managing fat and cholesterol levels can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Consuming at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily boosts the body’s ability to fight cancer and lowers blood pressure. Including antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C and E, can help fight free radicals, which are molecules in the body that damage tissue and inhibit both the longevity and anti-aging processes.
Preventative intervention and early detection of medical conditions, rather than waiting for signs of illness to manifest, may prevent issues from developing that could potentially affect longevity. Visiting a doctor regularly and performing all recommended screenings, including cholesterol, mammograms, and pap smears, may lengthen life expectancy significantly. Other preventative measures include regular exercise and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Many of the behaviors that enhance the likelihood of longevity also improve anti-aging outcomes. For instance, wearing sunscreen on a daily basis reduces signs of aging on skin and also works to prevent potentially fatal skin cancers. Also, many individuals subscribe to the theory that looking good helps people feel better and live longer, creating another link between longevity and anti-aging.