The fountain of youth is real, but it isn’t a marble structure, spewing magic tonic, it is the aggregation of healthful practices, selected and improved over time, which can delay mental and physical decay, and improve quality of life regardless of age. Here are five time tested ways to remain youthful forever.

  • Eat for Energy

As we age we require fewer calories, carbohydrates, and fatty proteins, but that doesn’t mean your diet shouldn’t continue to be important as you grow older. While your appetite may not sustain 3 full meals each day, it is likely to willingly support 5 micro meals, broken down to provide a vital balance of protein, carbs, and fat.

It’s easy to forget how sluggish low blood-sugar and inadequate nutritional intake can make a body, and even easier to blame that sluggishness on old age. Instead, design a diet that keeps you feeling alert and ready, it will stimulate your mind and as a result, make you feel and act younger than your biological age.

  • Exercise Every Day

The older we are the more we like to get ourselves off the exercise hook with excuses pertaining to our age and infirmity. Unfortunately, there’s no empirical evidence that supports reduced physical activity after a certain magical age limit has been breached.

In fact, the reality is quite the opposite. Because even minor exercise like walking helps the body circulate blood, activity of any kind can result in overall feelings of improved mental well being, as well as the reduction of aches, pains, lethargy, and illness. That’s right, physical activity actually boosts the immune system, keeping you healthy.

  • Get Therapy for your Hormones

Any woman undergoing pre-menstrual strife will tell you, hormones have a huge impact on how you feel. An imbalance of hormones can produce moodiness, anxiety, stress, and even depression.

Restoring balance to hormones via hormone replacement therapy can improve physical health too. When the body’s hormone levels are in their natural state, the body experiences harmony because it isn’t receiving any convoluted or confusing chemical messages.

  • Learn Something

There is a quote, often mistakenly attributed to the Buddha, which goes, “…be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we may have learned a little. And if we didn’t learn even a little, at least we didn’t get sick. And if we did get sick, at least we didn’t die.”

Regardless of the source, it may help to keep this statement in mind when going about your day. The notion that ceasing to learn is in direct relationship with ceasing to be vital or alive is not a mistaken one. Research indicates that a lifelong dedication to learning comes along with improved happiness, brain health and function, regardless of age.

  • Love Something

Perhaps the most adorable of all longevity advice is to adopt a pet. The notion that caring for an animal extends life expectancy and improves quality of life has been indisputably supported over time.

Of course, as much as we might like to believe that our dog possesses magical powers, the reality is much more plain. When we love, we strive to live, and when we strive to live we often succeed. So if you feel yourself losing heart, feeling old and funky, and just plain giving up. Don’t forget to adopt a pet, and see if you don’t start feeling more youthful right away.