Healthy Aging

The secret to happiness? Here’s some advice from the longest-running study on happiness

Matthew Solan
Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

While it’s true that one’s inclination to happiness is partially inherited, an individual’s choices and behaviors also contribute significantly, and research has found that the happiest people all have certain traits in common.

Men (back) at work

Matthew Solan
Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Because men bond through shared experiences such as work, recreating the dynamics of the workplace can help older men stay mentally sharp and socially active.

Why does hair turn gray?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

It may be surprising to learn that hair does not “turn gray.” The reason for the loss of hair color is rooted in the cycle of hair growth, death, and regeneration.

Can getting quality sleep help prevent Alzheimer’s disease?

Matthew Solan
Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Sleep gives the brain the opportunity to rid itself of proteins believed to contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, and now research is showing an association between poor sleep and the accumulation of those proteins.

Intensive lifestyle change: It works, and it’s more than diet and exercise

Monique Tello, MD, MPH
Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributing Editor

It’s not easy to make significant lifestyle changes, but it can be done, and research shows that it works. It’s an intensive commitment with a psychological component as important as the diet and fitness components.

Mind over matter? How fit you think you are versus actual fitness

Monique Tello, MD, MPH
Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributing Editor

A study of over 60,000 people who were followed for as long as two decades found that people’s perceptions about their level of activity have a more significant effect on their longevity than their actual fitness.

More evidence that exercise helps keep your brain fit

Monique Tello, MD, MPH
Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributing Editor

A review of dozens of studies on the benefits of exercise on cognitive health concluded that, for those over 50, just about any form of activity is beneficial if performed regularly.

Super-agers: This special group of older adults suggests you can keep your brain young and spry

Matthew Solan
Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

While some people seem genetically predisposed to retain mental sharpness in old age, there are things anyone can do that can help maintain cognitive ability, or perhaps improve it.

Run for your (long) life

Monique Tello, MD, MPH
Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributing Editor

A large, long-term study confirms that running decreases a person’s overall risk of death, and while the benefits from other forms of physical activity are not as significant, any activity is still better than none.

5 research-backed lessons on what makes a happy life

Robert John Waldinger, MD

A lifelong study of several hundred men is providing valuable information about how childhood circumstances and life choices influence happiness throughout a person’s life. For example, the sting of a difficult childhood need not derail a rewarding adult life.