Secrets To Staying Young
You’re likely to feel younger and enjoy a better quality of life if you exercise more and have a sense of control of your life. These lifestyle solutions, from two recent studies, have other benefits including better memory, improved thinking and a longer life. The first study presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association in August (2018), found that the participants’ view of their ages changed from day to day based on their sense of control. The researchers recruited 116 seniors between the ages of 60 and 90, in addition to 106 younger adults, ages 18 to 36.
All participants were asked daily to respond to questions about the extent of control they perceived in their lives and how old they felt each day. Results showed that the subjective age reported (the age the participants felt, not their chronological age) varied among the seniors (but not the younger adults) depending on how great a level of control they felt they had. The second study included 59 adults between the ages of 35 and 69, none of whom routinely took part in physical activity. Each was given a fitness tracker, and the researchers monitored the participants’ daily step counts for five weeks. Results showed that those whose step counts increased the most reported feeling the greatest difference between their objective and subjective ages.
My take? This is encouraging news and fits in with my take on healthy aging. I believe that you can move toward optimal health at any age by exercising your mind and body and by taking an active interest in your friends, family and community. In my book, Healthy Aging, I also discuss optimism and how you can learn to substitute positive ideas for negative thoughts and attitudes about getting older.
“You’re Only as Old as You Think and Do.” Press release, American Psychological Association, August 9, 2018, apa.org/news/press/releases/2018/08/old-you-think.aspx
Also in this week’s bulletin: