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Study: Feeling Younger Could Mean Living Longer

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A new study suggested Monday that feeling younger than your actual calendar age could mean you will live longer.

As CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez reported, some believe they can still party while maintaining an exercise schedule, and have the same memory capacity you did when you were in your 20s. While that is unlikely, researchers have found that there is something to the benefits of feeling younger.

Marian Armitage, 60, is not letting her age slow her down. She rides her bike everywhere -- to the store and to Pilates class.

"I've just become 60 this year, and I certainly don't feel 60," she said.

Researchers at the University College London found the key to living longer may be feeling young.

"People who felt younger that their real age were more likely to survive over the next eight years or so, compared with those who felt older," said Andrew Steptoe of University College London.

Researchers tracked nearly 6,500 senior citizens in England for more than a decade. They found adults who said they felt younger than their actual age had a 14 percent death rate, compared to a nearly 25percent death rate for people who felt older.

"Someone who feels younger is possibly healthier than someone who feels older," Steptoe said. "And so they have fewer diseases, or they may be more mobile."

Armitage said the study doesn't surprise her at all, and that she plans to keep her young attitude as she grows old.

In other words, your mind may have a powerful beneficial effect on your health. And people whose self-perceived age is older could actually get healthier with some attitude adjustment – as long as they don't try to party like they did in college.

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