- Can you make your brain more youthful?
- Beat ageing – the secret of the SUPER AGERS
- 6 things you can do to turn back the clock
On Thursday I revealed the natural compound that could stop or even reverse ageing.
It effectively fires up the mitochondria, known as your cell’s powerhouse, restoring energy and health.
But age is not just about your muscles and bones.
Age can be a state of mind.
To give you an example… (and I’m sure you can come up with dozens of your own)…one of my good friends is 60 years old.
He plays in a garage punk band, draws comic strips for a living, has a very funny 12-year old daughter, a fantastic bunch of friends, and can be found holding court in the pub on a Saturday night.
My father-in-law is 62…
He pads around in slippers, worrying about stuff constantly, complaining of gout and writing angry letters about the way the council cut his hedge. He has the time and money to travel, develop new hobbies, even write his memoirs (he was a very successful scientist in his early career). But he doesn’t – and my wife worries he’s ageing prematurely.
A similar thing happened with my grandfather when he gave up a job he loved….
He’d been working in a brewery for 35 years but once he retired early at 60 he gave up the ghost. Spent a lot of time sat watching telly. He had no interest outside of work and became old quickly, complaining about pain constantly and finding the world more and more bewildering by the day.
It’s very hard for me to view my rock’n’roll friend as being even close to the same age as my father-in-law.
It feels like they’re in totally different generations.
What’s more, I expect that my party-loving friend is physically more ‘worse-for-wear’ than my ‘quiet life’ father-in-law…
Except it could be that he’s doing something scientifically proven to change the way his brain works.
The secret of the Super Agers
A study at the Massachusetts General Hospital has discovered that there is such a thing as a SUPER AGER.
Super-agers are people who are aged in their 60s and 70s, yet have the same memory power and concentration as most people in their 20s.
A lot of this is down to lifestyle…
You see, as we age, we lose muscle mass. Everyone knows that.
But fewer realise that this loss of mass happens in the brain too.
So while many people try and train up their muscles when they get older, with walking, swimming, running, Pilates and other exercises…. less people focus on the grey matter in their skulls.
The new study, known as The Disconnected Mind, shows that while being physically healthier does give your brain an advantage, there are other factors in becoming a Super Ager.
Some of these might explain why my relatively healthy-living father-in-law is ageing quicker than my rock’n’ roll friend.
For instance, here are some of the study’s recommendations for keeping the brain young…
– Break your routine – instead of doing the same old things at the same old time every day, mix it up a bit. Find things to do in the week you’ve never tried, or map out your days so that each one is different.
– Learn a language – according to a study in the journal neurology, people who knew two languages developed dementia four years later (on average) than those who knew only one.
– Learn an instrument – similarly, taking up a new instrument will work well – or mastering an instrument, learning to read music and other skills.
– Give your love-life a boost – this is one of those things you can’t always control but there are links to bedroom activity and brain power.
– Work! – this might sound unappealing if you’ve retired, but if you can find a fun or interesting way to make money it will actually keep your brain active. Try setting up a home business, selling on eBay or Amazon, creating your own blog or helping out at a local enterprise. It’s more about the activity than the profit.
– Have a party – this one’s fantastic. According to a Dutch study in 2012, the more social you are, the lower your risk of developing dementia. In fact loneliness increases your risk by 65%!
So now it makes sense…
My friend is sociable, has lots of freelance work he enjoys and rarely does the same thing every day. He has a healthy relationship and a kid who keeps him young – and he’s always trying to improve his music, learning new songs and developing his art.
On the other hand, my father in law has stopped playing the instrument he used to enjoy when he was young, has no job, doesn’t stretch his mind like he used to, and barely socialises…
This isn’t to criticise my father-in-law, by the way. It’s really out of the same concern I had for my grandfather who I felt gave up on life when he had so much still to learn and discover about the world.
He spent a lot of his retirement in pain when – I believe from all the research I’ve read – that keeping an active, varied life would have reduced many of those symptoms.
If you have any similar stories you’re happy to share, please do send them in, we love to get your feedback!
Until next time, stay healthy!