Health study: Your attitude could determine how long you live - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Health study: Your attitude could determine how long you live


(CNN) - It's no secret that staying physically active and eating healthy may help you live longer. But research shows that how long you live and the quality of those years is more nurture than nature. So what is the secret to healthy aging?

Turning 70 didn't slow Molly Darden down. Instead, she went water skiing.

"I decided that I'm going to sail through the 70s facing challenges exuberantly," said Darden. "Enjoying, enjoying, enjoying."

One secret to Molly's healthy aging - her longevity attitude.

"It's a mix of feeling that you are in control of your health," said Dr. Sharon Bergquist, of Emory School of Medicine. "Buffering stress, keeping positive human relationships and keeping a very positive attitude."

Research shows 25% of aging is determined by genetics. Much of the rest, according to recent studies, is in our hands and often comes down to lifestyle and our outlook.

"People who have a positive view of aging will live 7.5 years longer," said Dr. Bergquist.

Molly has always embraced life. She worked as a journalist and photographer, and lived overseas. Now, she stays connected with others through her own website and on twitter. And stays fit by gardening and walking her dog.

"It's a passion to be happy, vibrant, zestful because I know now that I'm in my homestretch of life," said Darden.

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