Could this be the secret to longevity?

Betty White has been in show business, since the 1950s and appeared most notably on ‘The Mary Tyler Moore’ show and the hilariously funny sitcom ‘The Golden Girls’ – as teenagers my sisters and I loved to watch reruns of these shows back in Australia.

But the real reason why I admire Betty White is because it looks like she has found the secret to longevity… and that’s without plastic surgery or other cosmetic enhancements like Botox. In fact, this silver-and small screen American sweetheart turned 95 on January 17th, 2017. And she shows absolutely no signs of slowing down, which should inspire all of us who strive to age younger.

So, what’s Betty White’s secret to longevity?

In a recent interview with TODAY , Betty said that she believes having a hobbie is what helps keep her young at heart and active. She added: “Everybody should have or cultivate a passion. Don’t be afraid to get really hooked on something, because that will refurbish your energy.”

I did a bit of further reading and discovered that in addition to energizing you, having a hobby (or engaging in regular social and leisure activities) can also help to enhance your immune system, improve memory, reduce stress, improve your quality of sleep and improve your self-esteem.

Interestingly, three hobbies or activities that can greatly improve your longevite are:

Dancing: Dancing is a wonderful way to reminisce and to feel young again, while getting your heart pumping. As you twirl your partner on the dance floor to a tango, rumba, or waltz, you might just forget that you are working out and improving your physical health. For many people who are slightly older, dancing is also a great social opportunity to engage with their peers.

Gardening: The book, The biophilia hypothesis suggest that humans have an innate tendency to seek connections with nature. This connection with nature has shown to reduce stress, enhance creativity, improve well-being, and expedite healing.

Volunteering: A strong predictor of good health and longevity as we age is how fulfilled we feel. Research has proven that a sense of purpose can improve our personal satisfaction, increase our happiness, buffer us from stress, reduce our risk of disease, and can even help us sleep better. So, why not join a group that are linked to a social cause, like knitting baby hats for preemies to baking dog biscuits for local shelters. Or even better still, start your own charitable cause and get your peers involved.

Finally, and I think I like this piece of advice coming from Betty White the most. She says that for any relationship to be successful, personally or professionally, kindness is key. She added: “I think that you don’t say the hurtful thing even if you’re irritated or upset, because that sticks around, or that just chips off a little of the other guy’s self-esteem.”

To a healthier life,

Thomas Smith