If We Start Planning Today, We Can Be Superagers Tomorrow
Why are some people superagers? Why is it that some people stay healthy, mentally alert and happy well into their 80s and 90s, while others experience only the worst from the aging process? These are the questions that researchers at Northwestern University hope to answer in their ongoing research on healthy aging.
In essence, these researchers want to figure out why some of us thrive and have sharp memories in our later years, while others seem to fade. It’s a fascinating question. Are some of us destined, based on our genetics, to live healthy lives in the coming decades? Or, is there some combination of lifestyle choices that can help us to get the most from later life?
What Can We Learn from Current Superagers?
Researchers say that SuperAgers have distinctly different looking brains than those of other older people – they are wired differently or have structural differences when compared to other people of the same age. Another explanation, as reported in this article, is that SuperAgers are more likely to volunteer their time and stay socially active. Hopefully, the situation will become clearer as the research continues.
Maybe Becoming a Superager Isn’t Really that Complicated
That said, it occurs to me that, if we are honest with ourselves, we have a pretty good idea of what we can do today to give us a better chance of being superagers tomorrow. We don’t need to wait to get started. None of the following are scientifically proven to make you a superager, but, they seem like a pretty good start:
- Get in great shape – walk every day, join a gym and choose a sport to master
- Give up your bad habits – it’s never too late to stop smoking or drink less alcohol
- Invest in your social life – join a club, follow your passions, use Boomerly to make friends
- Give your life a purpose – follow your passions, volunteer and make your voice heard
- Improve your mindset – learn to meditate, improve your breathing and face your fears
I’m fascinated by Northwestern’s research into SuperAgers, but, I don’t plan on waiting for the results of their study to start investing in my future. I hope that you feel the same way.
Now, in our 50s and 60s, it’s time for all of us baby boomers to invest in our bodies and minds so that they are there for us tomorrow.
What do you think the secrets are to being a “SuperAger?” Do you know anyone who stayed mentally and physically active well into their 80s or 90s? What did they say their secret was? Please join the discussion.