How to add years to your life and life to your years

25 percent of aging is determined by genetics

NEW YORK (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.

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. 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, buffering stress, keeping positive human relationships and keeping a very positive attitude,” said Sharon Bergquist of the Emory School of Medicine.

Research shows 25 percent of aging is determined by genetics. Much of the rest is in our hands and often comes down to lifestyle and our outlook. “People who have a positive view of aging will live 7 and a half years longer,” Bergquist continued.

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.

Molly’s positive lifestyle not only adds years to her life but life to her years.

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