(CNN) - It's no secret that staying physically active and eating healthy may help you live longer, but research shows that how long you live and the quality of those years is more nurture than nature.
Turning 70 didn't slow Molly Darden down. Instead she went water skiing.
"I decided that I'm going to sail through the 70s facing challenges exuberantly, enjoying, enjoying, enjoying," Darden said.
One secret to her healthy aging is her longevity attitude.
"It's a mix of feeling that you are in control of your health - buffering stress, keeping positive human relationships and keeping a very positive attitude," said Dr. Sharon Bergquist of the Emory School of Medicine.
Research shows 25 percent of aging is determined by genetics. Much of the rest is in our hands and often comes down to lifestyle and our outlook, recent studies show.
"People who have a positive view of aging will live seven and a half years longer," Bergquist said.
Darden has always embraced life. She worked as a journalist and photographer, and lived overseas. Now, she stays connected with others through her own website and on Twitter and stays fit by gardening and walking her dog.
"It's a passion to be happy, vibrant, zestful because i know now that i'm in my homestretch of life," Darden said.
Her positive lifestyle not only adds years to her life but life to her years.
Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.