While I'm sure all of the above are contributing factors, research has found that there is more to it than that.
Yesterday was my Uncle Karl's 94th birthday, and as we celebrated his longevity I thought about the secret of aging well.
I watched my mom who will be 90 in August and my uncle (along with his wife of 68 years who is 93) talk and laugh. They are all still vibrant and active participants in this life. Despite my uncle's left hip being gone. He still drives, goes to church, eats out often and enjoys living. My mom is the same way.
I wondered what is the secret and is there a secret. So I did some research.
George E. Vaillant in his book "Aging Well" says aging successfully is something like being tickled, it's best achieved with another person. Whether your social connections are with a spouse, offspring siblings, bridge partners, and/or fellow church goers, they're crucial to good health while growing older. (WebMD)
When I look at my uncle and my mom I would have to agree with this. They seem to live in the present, without letting the past affect their enjoyment of the now, and they surround themselves with other like minded people. Yes, they may have good genes. My grandparents lived into their early nineties, but they too remained active participants in life.
So what is the secret to aging well? Although there are many factors, I think that happiness and living in the present moment would be at the top of my list.
Oh, and happy birthday Uncle Karl. I'm looking forward to your 100th.