As we age, the idea of maintaining good health and longevity becomes a priority. However, there is a certain group of people who seem to defy natural aging and maintain their cognitive functions, mental sharpness, and even physical strength as they enter the later stages of life aka the Golden Years!
These exceptional people can be called “Superager” – a rare cohort of seniors with remarkable health – mental and physical. In terms of age, these Superager are at least eighty years old with exceptional skills – mind and body – that of at least thirty years their juniors.
But who are these age-defying seniors and what is it that makes them mentally young and resilient? In this article today, we’re exploring the secrets of Superagers, what it means to be one, and can you, too, become a Superager.
Let’s peer into the lives of Superagers and the research that seeks to understand what makes Superagers unique.
What is a Superager?
Technically speaking, Superagers are a select group of people – usually 80 years or older – who seem to possess strong mental ability and memory comparable to juniors at least thirty years younger. This group of people show remarkable mental sharpness and memory retention abilities that set them apart from others their age. Apart from mental strength and resilience, Superagers possess strong physical health.
If we delve into the origins of Superagers, we can trace the term’s roots decades back. This term was first introduced by The Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s in 2008. The Center is conducting studies and research to understand the genetics, brain structure, and lifestyle habits that might help a person retain memory better than others of the same age.
The Characteristics of Superagers
So, what sets Superagers apart from others of their age? Here are some common characteristics of Superagers you should know!
They have remarkable memory skills and can recall details of events from their past with clarity and sharpness.
They have incredible brain resilience with a reduced prevalence of age-related brain shrinkage, especially when it concerns memory and other cognitive functions.
Superagers have strong emotional resilience and keep a positive outlook on life no matter what happens. This allows them to maintain their well-being and cognitive functions better than their peers.
Superagers are always active. If you have a senior in your life who is always active despite their age, then they can be characterized as a Superager. These seniors are always found doing something physically active that keeps their minds and bodies engaged.
They eat a balanced and nutritious diet.Superagers often follow a diet that’s rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, and other nutrients that help them keep positive brain health.
Superagers are always socially connected and avoid staying isolated. Social interactions play a role in keeping seniors mentally healthy and resilient. It is also important to note that social connections can help reduce day-to-day stress and boost mental well-being.
Signs of a Superager
If you are a senior or if you have a loved one who is in their senior year and shows characteristics of a Superager, then pay attention to the signs;
The brain looks at least three decades younger than their age
The brain does not show any age-related shrinkage
The brain shows high levels of neurons known as Von Economo neuron
The fibers in the brain do not entangle the ways that show warning signs of Alzheimer’s
Can You Become a Superager?
While it’s true that genetics play a major role in determining our health and long life, various studies suggest that our lifestyle choices, eating habits, and other social habits can hugely influence our aging.
While not all of us might have the genetics to become a Superager, we can, fortunately, adopt certain habits and lifestyle changes that can help us improve our memory, cognitive functions, and physical health as we age.
Here are some ways you can age healthily and wisely – both mind and body;
Staying Mentally Active: To become a Superager (or age wisely) you can engage in activities that challenge your brain. Puzzles, learning new skills, and pursuing hobbies that allow mental exercise can all help you maintain your cognitive functions and mental resilience.
Regular Physical Exercise: You can also engage in regular physical exercise if you want to become a Superager. Activities such as swimming, walking, yoga, and running can all help you maintain good physical and heart health and even boost brain function.
Eating Healthy:Superagers eat healthily and choose what they consume carefully. You can also do that if you wish to become a Superager as you age. Try to eat more fruits and veggies, whole grains, healthy fats, and foods rich in antioxidants to support brain health.
Don’t Forgo Social Connections: You too can become a Superager when you cultivate and maintain meaningful social relationships. Choose to surround yourself with people who encourage you to stay positive and healthy. Social connections can enhance your emotional health and reduce the risks of cognitive decline.
Practice Stress Management: Becoming a Superager means that you need to maintain your stress levels and avoid spiraling into chronic stress. Stress can affect your mind and body negatively so you need to learn to manage it daily. You can try stress-reduction techniques such as meditation and mindfulness to reduce stress.
Sleep Well: To keep your mind and body in good health, you need to sleep well and get at least 7 to 9 hours of good quality sleep each night. This will allow your brain and body to feel recharged and refreshed, reducing the risk of cognitive decline.
Superagers are an extraordinary group of people who defy conventional aging standards and expectations. While our genetics might play a significant role in defying aging, certain lifestyle habits can also change how we age in our later years.
You can also learn to age well in your 80s by adopting habits such as eating well, mentally exercising, staying physically active, and prioritizing your overall well-being.
Not everyone might become a Superager, but you can still strive to age gracefully and healthily! I believe it’s a goal worth pursuing.
Liked this article? Let me know what you think about becoming a Superager in the comments below.
The post What is a Superager And What Can We Learn from Superager? appeared first on Calm Sage – Your Guide to Mental and Emotional Well-being.