This is a review of a recent article written by Rosalyn Kunin in PrimeWomen entitled “Are you Becoming a Super-Ager?”
Defeating physical decline
Too many of us have dreaded aging and advancing years because of what we thought was inevitable physical decline. Our bodies would give out. We would become slower, stiffer and fatter. How wrong these old chestnuts are proving out to be!
We now know, and many of us are demonstrating it every day, that we can stay speedy, supple and slender. Exercise, Pilates and yoga, along with a little attention to what we eat, can keep our bodies in prime shape for decades.
What About Keeping Our Minds In-Shape?
The idea of losing our mental capacity is scary. Won’t our brains start to fail us as we age? Well, maybe not after all. There are two relatively recent and very positive research findings about brains in older adults. First, we no longer believe that once we reach adulthood the brain cannot grow and develop new connections. Science has dispelled this myth.
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Our brains are like our muscles. If we use them, they can grow and develop throughout our lives. This brain development is called neuroplasticity. It is developed through activities and exercises. Not only do such activities enable us to keep our minds and memories sharp. They are also effective in helping to alleviate memory loss or other mental challenges that may have already been experienced.
Disease is a Factor in Mental Decline
The second positive research finding about our brains is that cognitive decline is not something that happens over time. Rather, it is highly correlated with the presence of disease. When older and even very old people are free from disease, not only their bodies but also their minds continue to function like those of much younger individuals.
Those who do continue to have minds and bodies that function like young people’s are called super-agers. Definitions differ, but the term usually refers to people in their 90’s or close who are not only in excellent physical shape (and we won’t say ‘for their age’) but also have the mental capacity and the brains, as revealed by MRI’s, of much younger people.
= = = > Click here to read: “IS THERE A MAGIC POTION FOR A HEALTHY BRAIN?”> = = =
Studying Super-Agers to Live Longer, Healthier Lives
Since the best way to figure out how we can live long and well is to study those special people who have already done that, super-agers are a much-studied group. Some researchers have sought out communities of long-lived people, often called blue zones, and they have written books describing what they have found.
What Does It Take to Become a Super-Ager?
Although scientists need more work and more time before they can give us definite answers on how to live well as we age, we know by the presence of super-agers that living long and well is possible. There are steps we can take right now to enjoy many years with good physical and mental health.
· Stay Physically Active
To maintain mental health, we do need to maintain physical health. If you are not already following an exercise plan then consult with your doctor to find one that works best for you. Then stick with it! By continuing and slowly increasing the amount of exercise you do your body and brain will benefit!
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· Practice Brain Exercises
Exercises for your brain, such as learning a musical instrument, a language or even a new sport can move you along the path to becoming a super ager. You can also try other conventional brain exercises. if you like words, try daily crossword puzzles. If you’re a numbers person then daily games of sudoku might be more your speed.
= = = >Click here to read “Brain Health: The Things You Can Do To Make It Stronger” > = = =
Find Your Community
Maintaining old friendships and establishing new ones is an important part of healthy aging. If you’re learning new skills or perfecting established ones, try and find a group of like-minded individuals. Or check out online groups, like the Prime Women Facebook group, to find other women who are interested in similar things or going through experiences like yours.
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With a little bit of work and activity, you can have a healthy body and brain well into your prime years. Get started with some simple brain exercises and some physical activity, and keep up with it and you may well be on your way to becoming a super-ager.
= = = > Click here to read “5 HEALTHY HABITS FOR GOOD BRAIN FUNCTION”> = = =
= = = > Click here to read “TOP 5 FOODS THAT CAUSE BRAIN FOG”> = = =
I hope you enjoyed this article on the interesting topic of Super-Agers. If you did, you might want to try some of the suggestions offered. And please leave us a comment on the results you obtained.
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