I’ve had a few major health scares in my life.
But they’ve gifted me with a deep awareness and gratitude for each moment I have here on this earth.
My experiences have deeply affected how I think, the actions I take, and what I write about here in digest. I’m compelled to make the solutions and information I’ve discovered accessible to others, so they too, can enrich their life.
So when I came across some groundbreaking research on “SuperAgers,” I was immediately intrigued.
SuperAgers are adults who are 80 or older and in near-perfect health.
And today, I’m going share with you their daily habits so you can enjoy the same benefits well into your golden years.
It’s all about balance
According to Emily Rogalski, a leading expert in the field, “We found that SuperAgers are resistant to the normal rate of decline that we see in average elderly, and they’re managing to strike a balance between life span and health span, really living well and enjoying their later years of life.”
Researchers set out to discover just how SuperAgers are striking this balance and what makes them stand apart from other healthy people the same age.
They have bigger brains—quite literally
One of the most remarkable traits of SuperAgers is that their memories are just as sharp as someone half their age! Turns out, their brains age at a much slower rate.
And in a five-year study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that SuperAgers have less brain atrophy.
They have a thicker brain cortex and more brain volume than their peers of the same age. Brain imaging shows SuperAgers lose approximately 1.06 percent of brain volume over their lifetime compared to the 2.24 percent loss in average aging adults.
This is important because significant shrinkage of gray matter is often a hallmark sign of dementia.
Bigger brain, better memory
SuperAgers have also been found to have a significantly higher category fluency, a cognitive marker used to assess patients for dementia. This marker determines how well someone can retrieve information associated with semantic memory (well-known general facts and information).
This was illustrated in a 2016 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, where researchers tested the memory recall of 81 healthy adults. Half of the group was older—about 60 to 80 years old—while the other half was younger—between 18 to 35 years old.
All of the participants were read a list of 16 nouns six times. Twenty minutes later, they were asked to recall as many words as they could.
While 23 of the older participants recalled nine or fewer words (an average score for their age group), 17 seniors—the SuperAgers—could remember 14 words or more, similar to the scores of participants in the younger group. The SuperAgers were also found to have thicker brain volumes than the average adults of similar age.
Researchers attribute these benefits to the healthy lifestyle habits most common amongst SuperAgers. The best part is, you can easily integrate them into your daily routine to build a better brain and safeguard your mind from the ravages of aging.
Five ways to build a “longevity forcefield” for your brain
Here are the five habits researchers have identified in “SuperAgers.” You can use them starting today to protect your own brain—and add happier, healthier years to your life.
As you’ve seen today, you should never let your age deter you from taking action to improve and protect your health. It’s never too early—or too late—to start building healthier habits.
Always remember, do what you can, the best you can, with what you’ve got.
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Common Habits of SuperAgers. (n.d.) Northwestern Medicine. Retrieved from: nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-
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