2022 Guide to Aging Well: Tips for Healthy Living at Every Age

Aging well isn’t just about looking and feeling great as you get older — it’s about expressing gratitude for the gift of another year and embracing changes as they come. But, aging well also means taking an active role in both your physical and mental health by prioritizing things like healthy diet, exercise, restorative sleep, calming mindfulness, and critical preventative screenings.

To help you welcome your next birthday with gratitude and enthusiasm for the years ahead, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to aging well. Read about groundbreaking medical innovations changing the way we approach aging and its current and future healthcare challenges. Get inspired by octogenarians like National Geographic Explorer Sylvia Earle, who, at 86, is still leading expeditions and crusading tirelessly to save our oceans. And make sure your shopping list is regularly stocked with the best heart-healthy, cancer-fighting, brain-boosting foods proven to help you look and feel better inside and out. As the saying goes, age is nothing but a number, so resolve today to follow these tips to be your best at every age.

Be Informed — Groundbreaking Innovations Are Changing the Face of Healthcare — Know Your Options

The last two years have been brutal for Americans. With approximately one million deaths in just over two years, this worldwide pandemic upended our lives in many ways.

But hope remains. We’ve assembled a list of 10 medical innovations that reveal the pandemic did not stop scientists from improving our lives. From the ability to deliver organs for transplant by drone, to improved cardiac aortic surgery and double lung transplants, to CAR T Cell therapy which experts say provides a cure for some blood cancers, the list is staggering.

Rhoda Goldman Plaza

The City’s Unsurpassed Assisted Living and Memory Caring Community

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What makes our community so amazingly better? Yes, our Lower Pac Heights location is hard to beat. And people often remark on our well-appointed, light-filled apartments. And you’ll find locally sourced ingredients on our menu. But we like to think there is even more to our community. Those seemingly “invisible” amenities and features that make our residents’ lives so much better for the people who live and work here. With an unprecedented staff to resident ratio and very little turnover, our residents and staff really get to know each other. Greeting a resident by name and asking about a loved one, their family and friends is part of the social and community fabric that builds emotional well-being and security.

Ask for your personal tour.  See what residents are saying about their community and why Rhoda Goldman Plaza is the unsurpassed nameplate in the city’s Assisted Living and Memory Caring community.

4 Summer Superfood Recipes Packed With Ingredients that Promote Healthy Aging


Type the word “superfoods” into any search engine, and you’re likely to find numerous lists of foods we should all be eating that are beneficial to our health, especially as we age. But while some lists tout the benefits of exotic ingredients like moringa and matcha, others focus on commonly found foods such as blueberries, avocado and kale.

So what exactly makes a superfood, well, super? Superfoods aren’t regulated, so there is no formal criteria, but most nutritionists agree that these foods tend to be plant-based and colorful, and are always extremely nutrient dense.

Choosing Love Over Fear is the Fountain of Youth

Illustration of senior boomer cannonball into pool
Illustration by Brian Stauffer

Jerry Jampolsky on how getting older is something to celebrate and enjoy, not something to be afraid of.

Aging Well: Healthy Ways to Live Longer and Healthier, Plus, Where to Find the Best Anti-Aging Treatments in Marin

aging well 2021 Senior man paddle boarding in ocean

It should come as no surprise that Marin County has been named the healthiest county in California in 2021. After all, it’s the 11th time in 12 years that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has bestowed this title upon Marin. The results are based on an annual county-by-county survey that measures how healthy residents are and how long they live.

According to Eric Verdin, MD, president and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, which endeavors to understand the molecular foundations of aging, in large part, Marin residents have a healthy lifestyle to thank for their longevity. Diet, exercise and sleep are all key factors to determining life expectancy. “Our genetic makeup only accounts for about 10 percent of how we age,” Verdin says. “So much of how we age is under our control, and it’s never too soon to start developing healthy habits.”

Trusted Home Care

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Hourly or live-in, our trusted caregivers always offer the higher standard of care. As the award-winning senior services division of JFCS, we’re here to help older adults live independently and provide peace of mind to their families. In fact, last year over 20,000 families trusted our senior services so loved ones could live in safety and with dignity.

We partner to solve problems, enhance a quality of life, and provide a safe and supportive living environment. Whether you are dealing with a life transition or crisis, are planning for the future, or need some personal support, our caregivers are trained, secure, and provide a next level of safety.  And that helps us all feel better where it matters most—right at home. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to show you why Seniors At Home continues to be the benchmark for quality care.

Shop Local: Age-Defying Skincare Products From Marin and Bay Area Brands


Keep skin looking and feeling healthy and nourished.

Excercise for Your Heart — The Best Workouts for Heart Health

working out heart health

Exercise is one of the very best things you can do to keep your heart healthy and functioning. But, as you develop an exercise regime with your heart health in mind, you may be curious: Is it better to jump on the treadmill for a cardio workout or pick up some weights for a strength training routine? And what role does your yoga or stretching routine play in all of this? 

The good news, according to fitness and medical experts: There’s room for all of your favorite workouts in heart-healthy exercise routines. While cardio is often touted as, well, the exercise of choice for your cardiovascular system, strength training has many benefits, too.

Barbara Waxman On Aging

EVER SINCE SHE was a child, accompanying her physician father as he volunteered at retirement homes, Barbara Waxman has been fascinated with aging. She earned a master’s degree in gerontology — the study of adult development and aging — shortly after college. When she later became a life coach, she specialized in clients who were at what she calls “midlife and better.”

Marin Experts Tackle the Science of Aging

Kale. Coconut oil. Matcha. Probiotics. Vitamin D. Strength training. Sleep.

Each day, we are bombarded with information on ways to stay healthy — lists of new superfoods, elixirs for longevity, the latest vitamins or supplements, miracle antidotes — but sorting through the research and information on aging and health can be daunting. How do we know what’s snake oil or what might be truly good for us? Thankfully, Marin County is home to a wealth of experts on nutrition, exercise, brain health, food as medicine and more. In particular, the savvy scientists at the renowned Buck Institute for Research on Aging are devoted to geroscience, studying the mechanisms of aging and the connection between normal aging and chronic disease, in the institute’s Novato labs.

Finding Peace of Mind: Local Instructors Help New Practitioners Tap into the Wellness Benefits of Meditation

meditation san francisco
San Francisco Zen Center. Photo courtesy of Tasja Keetman

From eating healthy to making sure we’re getting enough sleep, practicing mindfulness is the new norm that has helped us stay sane throughout the highs and lows of our pandemic world. Among the many ways we’re focusing on self-care, however, mediation is one practice that — although it’s been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years — continues to gain in popularity. It’s estimated that anywhere from 200–500 million people in the world meditate, a number that’s more than tripled since 2012. The explosion in the number of mindfulness apps, including Calm, Insight Timer and Headspace, further attests to meditation’s new mainstream appeal.

Facing Death: 5 Ways to Cope and Heal

We all know that we are going to die someday, but few of us consciously think about dying, and often we avoid talking about it or planning for it. Why is that? What are we afraid of?

There is an underlying fear shared by many of the whole subject of death. We may not even recognize our own avoidance until someone close to us is sick and possibly facing his or her own death. When someone we love dies or when we are close to death ourselves, it’s normal to have all the feelings associated with fear of loss. Underlying that fear, and actually all fears, is the fear of separation from something or from someone.

5 Heart-Healthy Foods

Embrace foods that keep your heart beating happily.

Science of Aging

According to a United Nations report, soon there will be more 60-year-olds than 15-year-olds in our society.

It’s the result of fewer births and lengthening life span. The U.S. Census shows more and more people are living to age 100: the centenarian population has increased 65.8 percent in the past three decades (1980–2010). America has more than 55,000 centenarians; close to 6,000 live in California. Yet with this extended longevity comes a series of questions on how people living more years can have quality of life. With old age comes uncertainty. As evolved humans, we don’t just want to live longer, we want to age well.

If you’ve been tuning in to the topic of optimal aging, you might be wondering: how do we protect our cells’ proteins from mutating, folding inside out and creating sticky toxic plaque? How do we keep the microbiome in our digestive tract in balance? How do we prevent our immune system from running amok and declaring unnecessary battle on our body? How do we ensure that we can remember our grandchildren’s names when we are 90?

Get Inspired — 86-year-old National Geographic Explorer Sylvia Earle Fights Every Day For Our Oceans

Sylvia Earle
Photo by Susan Middleton

At 86 years old, world-renowned marine biologist, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, conservationist and author Dr. Sylvia Earle continues to be one of our most inspiring advocates for the protection of the world’s oceans. Named the first-ever Time magazine “Hero for the Planet,” and called “Her Deepness” by the New York Times and the New Yorker, Earle is also former chief scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, founder of SEAlliance, and president and chairman of Mission Blue.

Having spent more than 7,000 hours underwater, led more than 100 expeditions, and authored countless publications, she knows all too well the threats our oceans face — but, she believes there is still room for optimism, and she’s on a mission to spread the message that while time is running out to save our oceans, it hasn’t yet. Earle’s comprehensive new book, National Geographic Ocean: A Global Odyssey, explores this theme and takes readers on an underwater tour of the world’s oceans, helping to broaden our understanding of their mysterious depths. We spoke to Earle about her new book, her ongoing mission, and what each of us can do to help.

Fitness Experts Share 6 Tips for a Healthy Body and Mind

staying fit

Many of us likely kicked off the year with renewed fitness goals, but the odds of sticking with a new exercise regimen for the long term are, sadly, not great. You may have already joined the 80 percent of people annually who abandon their new year’s resolutions by the end of February each year.  

Make It Better’s National Digital Content Director Brooke McDonald recently spoke with three health and fitness experts from Mill Valley who shared their tips for sustaining a workout regimen and a healthy mindset long after January has come and gone. 

Local Doctors Share the Healthy Habits They Swear By — And a Few They Fail At

Chan Corliss Healthcare professionals

Here we are, on the other side of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, with a new resolve to live a more healthy life. But, if we’re honest, the odds say many of us have already reverted to our old ways. (French fries are a vegetable, right?) While we look to the advice of health care professionals to help us cultivate wellness every day, it’s reassuring to remember that they struggle with temptation and lack of motivation just like the rest of us. We asked a few local medical professionals what health habits they follow religiously, and where they fall short.

Think Positive — 12 Science-Backed Ways to Improve Your Mood Right Now

12 Science-Backed Ways to Improve Your Mood Right Now

Whatever the reason — or combination of reasons — you’re in a bad mood. Don’t you wish there was a quick way to just snap out of it already? As it turns out, there are several ways you can trick yourself into having a better day and improving your mood on the spot.

Restoring Health and Wellness and With Functional Medicine

Functional Medicine

The Covid-19 pandemic has got us all thinking seriously about our health and what it means to have immune strength, now and in the future. To get the most out of this trying time, we need to be open to looking at our health in ways we haven’t before.

Evaluate Your Breast Cancer Risk — Know the Big Risk Factors

When a Lump Isn’t Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the cancer with the highest incidence among women, regardless of race or ethnicity, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Many people are aware of the disease, but not what they can do to reduce their risk. “We strongly encourage women to take steps to reduce their risk of breast cancer,” says Maryann Rasmussen, senior market manager of the Lakeshore Division of the American Cancer Society (ACS). “Prevention is much easier than having to treat or cure cancer.”

Breast cancer experts shared a few of the many risk factors for breast cancer and ways women can manage them to keep their risk as low as possible.

Boost Your Immune System With the Health Benefits of Fermented Foods

fermenting foods

As you likely learned at some point in your education, bacteria are central players in human health. They can be bad actors, carriers of diseases like botulism and pneumonia, or be beneficial, helping us thrive. Science is learning more every day about the balance needed, both outside and inside our bodies, for optimum health. Certain streptomyces bacteria, for example, are noted for their ability to produce broad-spectrum antibiotics. Many other strains of beneficial bacteria are desirable in the human gut as they inhibit the growth of other microorganisms.

That’s where fermented foods come in: They help boost your microbiome. (“Gut biome” or “microbiome” refers to the collection of microorganisms that live in our digestive tract.) Nan Foster, a Ross-based integrative health coach specializing in functional medicine and author of Gutsy: The Food-Mood Method to Revitalizing Your Health Beyond Conventional Medicine, notes that three-fourths of our immune system lives in the digestive system, making what we eat not only the most important tool in managing our gut biome, but a tool of utmost importance to our overall health. 

Use Tech for a Health Tune-Up — 11 Best Physical and Mental Health Apps

11 Best Physical and Mental Health Apps for 2019: Sleep Cycle

According to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. — 43.8 million, or 18.5 percent — experiences mental illness in a given year.” Left untreated, mental illness can lead to chronic medical conditions. Take a break from social media and emails for some important self-care. Here are some apps that will help you do just that.

Follow the Leaders — 5 Surprising Habits of People Who Age Well

Surprising Habits of People Who Age Well

“Small steps can definitely add up to healthier aging,” says Barbara Hannah Grufferman, author of the AARP and National Geographic book “Love Your Age: The Small-Step Solution to a Better, Longer, Happier Life.” “You don’t have to go from zero exercise to running a marathon, or from eating burgers and fries to being a vegan. Relatively easy tweaks to existing habits can and will help, and one healthy habit will lead to another.” Here are five surprising habits of people who age well.

Take Small Steps for Big Impact — 28 Simple Ways to Improve Your Heart Health

28 Simple Ways to Improve Your Heart Health

We’ve turned to health experts and research to discover 28 strategies to improve your heart health. These science-backed, small — yet specific — changes and goals can help strengthen your heart year-round.

Stay Hydrated — Your Hydration Questions Answered, Plus 7 Tips to Help You Drink More Water

Your Hydration Questions Answered, Plus 7 Tips to Help You Drink More Water

“Drink more water!” is advice for healthy living you’ve heard plenty of times before, but staying adequately hydrated is never as simple as it sounds. Here, we slake your thirst for guidance with some expert answers to all of your burning hydrations questions.

Evaluate Your Health Habits — 4 Bad Habits to Drop and One Good Habit to Adopt Instead

4 Bad Health Habits You Need to Quit, and 4 Good Ones to Adopt Instead

Knowing that something is bad or good for you is one thing. Actually doing or not doing it is another. Chances are you’re aware of some bad habits you really need to kick, and some healthy ones you should finally start adopting. We’re here to tell you the time is now.

If You Let it, Menopause Can Be Your Biggest Dating Superpower Yet 

Menopause Dating

You can hide the gray and use as many anti-wrinkle creams as you like. But the one part of growing older, if you’re a woman, that you can’t stave off is menopause. Menopause, which is defined as the time after which you haven’t had a period for 12 months, can come with a series of symptoms that affect every woman differently. You may have some, all, or none of them.

Dr. Susan Pitman, a physician with Summit Medical Group’s obstetrics and gynecology practice in Livingston, New Jersey, says, “Women experience menopause in many different ways. There’s no rule book, only guidelines.”

Eat to Reduce Your Risk — 15 Foods and Diet Choices That Help Fight Breast Cancer

15 Foods and Diet Choices That Can Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk

There is no sure way to prevent breast cancer. However, there are some lifestyle factors, including diet, that can reduce breast cancer risk — in some cases substantially.

Is Aduhelm the Drug Alzheimer’s Patients Have Been Waiting for? Buck Institute Scientists Weigh In


While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, the FDA recently approved a drug called Aduhelm that is reported to aid in disrupting the onset of Alzheimer’s, offering hope to those suffering from the disease, as well as their families and loved ones. The drug’s release, however, has been surrounded in controversy, with many scientists and doctors railing against the high costs of the drug, as well as the research the FDA used to approve it.

Get Better Sleep — Don’t Fall for These 8 Sleep Myths

8 Sleep Myths — Busted!

Getting enough sleep is crucial for good health. But what if you’ve been making decisions about your sleep routine based on outdated information? We’re debunking some pervasive sleep myths. Hint: You may want to stop stressing if you’re not getting exactly eight hours of shut-eye each night.