A man in his 60s, out for a jog.
Centr x Lifespan.io

Busted: 6 myths about healthy aging

Centr x Lifespan.io

Centr has partnered with Lifespan.io, a nonprofit leader in longevity science journalism and advocacy, to bring you the latest research on aging and rejuvenation. Learn more about our partnership below.

How do you picture your older years?

You want to live well, of course. But if you believe what you’ve heard, that’s either as simple as eating a single superfood, or completely impossible because you can’t fight genetics.

When it comes to healthy aging, there are a lot of longevity myths. Let’s bust 6 of the big ones and help you build a healthier and happier future.

Myth 1: Diet is the only key to living longer

The eating habits of people in longevity hotspots like Japan get a lot of attention. And it’s true that a good diet is an important part of aging well.

But the moves you make are just as important as the food you eat.

When a team of scientists analyzed the lifestyle habits of more than 300,000 people, they found that both a high-quality diet and exercise had different, sometimes overlapping, benefits. But there was no evidence that eating well made up for a lack of physical activity, or vice versa.

Centr trainers Michael, Da Rulk & Tahl, who each specialise in a different workout modality.

Looking for that exercise spark? Try one of our reset workouts to find your groove.

The other “secret” to longevity hotspots is that people move regularly – and they don’t stop moving when they hit a certain age. To live healthier for longer, it’s best that diet and exercise work as a team.

Myth 2: Alcohol is good for you

It seems like there’s a new report every week declaring that drinking a glass of red wine every day – or moderate consumption of any alcohol – is good for your health. But scientists are beginning to discover that may not actually be the case.

A new review suggested that moderate drinking doesn’t lower mortality risk or provide any benefits to health. Navigating the myths around alcohol can be tough, so we’ve taken a deep dive to help you drink smart.

Myth 3: You can’t stop cognitive decline – it’s genetic

Yes, there is a strong genetic component to cognitive decline, including diseases like Alzheimer’s. You may have heard about Chris Hemsworth discovering that he carries two copies of the APOE4 gene, which increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

But as Chris learned in his Nat Geo series Limitless, it’s a myth that you can’t do anything but sit around and wait for cognitive decline to set in.

One of the best ways to fight back is by getting plenty of good quality sleep – this could halve your risk of developing dementia.

Eating well can also improve cognitive function and lower your risk. The Mediterranean diet in particular has been associated with a substantially reduced risk of dementia.

Another habit that could help is maintaining an active social life, as research shows people with stronger social ties have less risk of cognitive decline.

Centr trainers Tahl and Alexz hold a side plank whilst working out together.

Get a longevity double-whammy by doing your workouts with a friend.

Myth 4: It’s too late to do anything about your health

It’s true that the earlier you start living better, the bigger the impact will be for your overall health and well-being. But it doesn’t matter whether you’re approaching your 40s or entering your 70s – it’s literally never too late to start making positive changes.

For instance, what if you added a short walk – roughly 1000 steps or 10 minutes – to your day? One study of older people showed a link between small brisk walks and better cardiovascular health.

Never lifted weights before? It’s never too late to start doing that, either…

Myth 5: Strength training damages your body

Perhaps you’ve heard that training with weights can put too much pressure onto your muscles and joints. Perhaps you heard about a friend of a friend who did their back in the gym. Either way, why risk it?

In fact, far from damaging your joints, when done safely strength training actually improves joint health – strengthening not only bones, joints and ligaments, but the muscles surrounding them, making you an all-round stronger machine.

Centr trainer Luke Zocchi weight trains and performs a single-arm squat and press.

Hitting the weights is a great way to improve your body’s resilience as you age.

There’s also some evidence that strength training can fight the age-related decline of a molecule our bodies need for cell health and DNA repair. And in the long-term, all that lifting can help your cells to clear out waste – slowing the aging process and keeping you healthier for longer.

Myth 6: There’s one magic longevity food

Blueberries. Salmon. Green tea. They’re all great, but you can’t rely on any single ‘superfood’ to extend your life.

What those foods do have in common is that they wouldn’t be out of place in the kind of diet linked with a healthier, longer life.

The evidence is in favor of a diet high in fruit and vegetables for brain and body health, lean protein for strong bones and muscles, and plenty of variety to make sure you’re getting a good mix of vitamins and minerals. And don’t forget a healthy splash of good fats like olive oil, which is linked to a reduced risk of death from all causes.

Disclaimer: This Centr content is adapted with permission from articles written by Lifespan.io. The content herein represents Centr’s interpretation of the original source material: 1, 2, 3.

Want to learn more about living longer and better?

Centr x Lifespan.io

Centr has partnered with Lifespan.io to bring you the latest in longevity research. Lifespan.io is the leading source of industry news and a nonprofit advocacy foundation whose mission is to accelerate progress toward overcoming age-related diseases. Since 2014, the organization has focused on responsible journalism, high-impact advocacy, and media initiatives that make longevity research and education more accessible to all.

Centr x Lifespan.io

Sign up to unlock your full potential

All your tools in one place

Expert-training to fuel your fitness, nutrition and mindfulness.

Limitless ways to fuel your mind & body

Access to over 3,000 workouts, recipes, and meditations – all tailored to your goals.

Tech that keeps you moving

Download Centr on all your devices to level up and track your results live.