Contrary to popular wisdom, not everything keeps better in the cold. Some things, like people, actually may age better if they live in the warmer temps of southern California. Don't think so, eh? Post why in the comments below. But for Huff/Post 50, we think Californians age better because:
Californians, in general, are happier.
We all know that exposure to sunlight combats depression and lifts our spirits. And let's face it, Californians are outside in the sun more. In southern California, pretty much every day is a sunny day, especially thanks to our current drought conditions. Sure there is hellacious traffic, but once we find our zen with the 405 Freeway, the rest is easy. We aren't going to win any centenarians' race here (although the 2010 Census said we had 5,921 people who were 100 or older, compared to New York with a mere 4,605), but we'd venture to say that more of our "elder olders" get to the finish line with a smile on their tanned faces.
Californians don't get skin cancers as much as Vermonters.
We all know that sun damages our skin, which is why it's so surprising that the incidence of skin cancer is actually higher in some cold weather states than it is in California. The incidence of skin cancers is lower in California, says the Centers for Disease Control, than in many other states including Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
Could it be that Californians are just more vigilant about applying sunscreen? People who use sunscreen daily show 24 percent less skin aging than those who don't. It may also be that we are just more vigilant about going to see our dermatologists. The $10.1 billion dermatology market in the U.S. is expected to grow to $13.1 million by 2017. Why? Because of the population's aging.
Californians exercise, like a lot.
Exercise keeps our hearts stronger, our blood pressure lower and our bones and muscles stronger. The California lifestyle is just more conducive to exercising. It has us out at the beach, on bicycles, boards -- boogie, snow and surf -- and of course skis (sometimes all on the same day). We were born with tennis rackets in our hands. We love our mountain hiking trails. We get dogs as fashion accessories and then have to walk them.
And yes, we actually walk places, despite the perception that we drive everywhere. According to MiceChat, just spending the day at Disneyland will put about 6 miles on your Fitbit.
We accept when our number is up -- at least when it comes to defibrillators, unlike the good people of Oregon.
The California State Supreme court recently rejected the claims of the family of a California woman who died of cardiac arrest while shopping in Target. As the story goes, Mary Ann Verdugo, 49, collapsed while shopping at a Pico Rivera Target store in August of 2008. Paramedics were called, but couldn't revive her. The Verdugo family sued, claiming Target should have had a defibrillator available in its store in case of medical emergency. Not so, said the state court. The court concluded there is nothing in California law requiring any of our retailers to provide a defibrillator. The only state to have such a requirement on the books is Oregon, which has a statute requiring the owner of a "place of public assembly" to have at least one defibrillator in place. This from the state that brought us Jack Kevorkian. Go figure.
Californians are forced to wear bathing suits year round.
Unlike the Northeast, Californians don't get a grace period for pigging out around the winter holidays. Knowing that we can get invited to a pool or beach party on a day's notice -- 365 days a year -- keeps us on our toes in the over-eating and under-exercising departments. Don't believe us? Mappers have counted 43,123 swimming pools in Los Angeles alone. And that doesn't count the San Fernando Valley, which would kind of be like eliminating Long Island in a New York count.
Californians have Hollywood role models.
While a few have gone a little crazy in the plastic surgery department, many celebrities have shown us how to age gracefully. And if George Clooney at 53 isn't the handsomest guy out there, well, we don't know who is.
Californians invented reinvention.
Second acts, second chapters, call it whatever you want. But when it comes to figuring out what your next incarnation is, we are all Shirley MacLaines. If the first career fizzles out, Californians just go find themselves a new one where their charms are more appreciated. Actors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan both enjoyed long second acts in politics.