Don’t tell baby boomers that old age starts at age 65. According to a 2009 Pew Research Survey, boomers believe that old age doesn’t begin until age 72; in fact, the typical boomer feels fourteen years younger than his or her chronological age!

We’ve talked a lot about the boomer connection to health and vitality, and well know about enhancing longevity through healthy behaviors. Boomers have tapped into the fountain of youth through nutrition, fitness and engagement.

Boomers believe in eating sustainably by choosing fresh over factory-farmed. More organic options are available now, and although organic is slightly more expensive, the benefit is enhanced flavor and toxin-free food. A whole food diet which includes fruit, vegetables, nuts and fish, and supplies vitamin B and amino acids to keep the body and brain in good working order is part of the prescriptive advice to eat your way to health by making healthy food choices.

Because whole-life happiness is equal parts emotional and physical health, boomers embrace fitness as the cornerstone of general well-being. None of us wants to live longer without a strong body and clear mind, and an active, full-tilt physical lifestyle is a key to avoiding a long decline to old age. Exercise and diet together are strong determinants for overall wellness.

Engagement is another component of boomer agelessness. Because they are characteristically optimistic and open-minded, boomers thrive by turning their passion into work. They’re reinventing and finding a new sense of self-worth and vigor as a result. A component of this encore is social renewal, a third stage as volunteer, mentor and life coach to give back. By staying engaged, boomers continue to be a force in their communities. Boomers continue to build rich lives on the foundation of actively staying in the mainstream and never retiring from life.

Interestingly, there is a generation gap within the boomer generation. How we see ourselves isn’t necessarily how others view us. There’s a lot of confusion and misperception about boomers and our legacy, but for retiring-reinventing-ageless boomers, it’s clear we are redefining aging.

Baby boomers are paving the way to achieving at least an additional decade of longevity by walking on the Steps to 100. We are well on the way to becoming supercentenarians who personify that living well never gets old! Now that’s nay-saying the gloom-doomers!