Here at Grandparentslink, we try not to focus much on age…. I mean who does!? We like to focus on what makes us feel healthy, energetic and you got it, YOUNGER! We like to consider ourselves as “Super Agers”.
Super-agers are people in their 70s and 80s who are both cognitively and physically a match for people much younger; however, they didn’t get there the easy way. According to Harvard Medical School research, super-agers embrace new challenges, both mentally and physically — essentially making sure to move out of their comfort zones. Physically, super-agers have an aerobic capacity of people decades younger. To achieve this, they have to exercise at high intensity for 20 to 45 minutes a day, which gives them the aerobic capacity of people 30 years younger.
What does it take to be a super-ager?* The good news is, you don’t have to have been practicing these mentally and physically healthy habits your whole life. Some super-agers make lifestyle changes well into their 50s, 60s, and 70s. While it’s not easy, there are some steps you can take to increase your super-ager status:
Increase your physical activity. If you’re not physically active at all, discuss a safe plan with your physician. If you are physically active, start to increase your exercise levels until you’re exercising at 60% your maximum heart rate, and then 70% your maximum heart rate, for 20 to 40 minutes, three to five days a week.
Take on new mental challenges. These are new and engaging activities that challenge you mentally that you wouldn’t have done before and may even be a little intimidating to you. So. if you’re a regular book reader or do crossword puzzles, you need to go beyond that. Learn a new language, master a musical instrument, or even volunteer. All of these are great options.
Don’t give up. You may not be used to taking on new challenges, and it may take time to develop the patience to not throw in the towel. The key here is to persevere until you’ve grown proficient in whatever it is that you’re challenging yourself with, mentally or physically. With time, it will get easier, and you can move on to other challenges and goals.
The bottom line is, it’s never too late to become the healthiest you — and maybe even enjoy a healthier life than people decades younger than you.
Looking for some ways to stay stronger and healthier for your grandchildren? Check out our previously posted article on ways to stay healthy for your grandchildren!
*Portions of article reprinted from: https://www.elcaminohealth.org/stay-healthy/blog/whats-super-ager