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Do you want to become a SuperAger?
Hint: Start early.
Trips to the doctor always raise my awareness of the gift of good health. Or is it really a gift? I never considered how my eating, exercise, or attitude contributed to my future self when I was in my twenties.
After all, at that age, the invincibility whisperer sits on our shoulders. French fries and an ice cream for lunch seem harmless.
My typical college lunch came from the vending machine outside my afternoon class—peanut butter crackers and soda. Not even diet soda. Who wants to ruin a perfectly good package of processed food?
In my thirties, I took notice and became obsessed with exercise, and eating better. Note, I didn’t say eating healthy. My choices changed, but not long-term. At least I became more aware of the harmful effects of sugar, fried, and highly processed food.
Fast forward to today, and the reality of poor choices found their way into my weight and health. Is it too late? I’m banking on a resounding, “No!”
My positive self believes I can examine habits. Those changes can definitely make a difference.
The Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease identified “protective factors that contribute to remarkable memory performance in late life including genetic, lifestyle, and brain factors.”
What did these researchers discover, and how do I stack up? Several factors play a critical role in becoming what they termed, SuperAgers.
People well into their 80s remain active. Check, mostly.
SuperAgers are positive. Check +.
They continue to learn and challenge their brain by reading and playing games. Check.
And finally, SuperAgers never isolate themselves. They spend time socializing with friends and family, or volunteering in their community. Check, with opportunity for improvement.
The results of the investigations on successful aging give me hope. I have the power to level up my choices for eating, exercise, and socializing. My positivity contributes to a steady foundation for becoming a SuperAger.
My advice for readers of all ages, it is never too early to cultivate the habits and traits of the SuperAgers.
Be active. Be positive. Be a learner. Be social.
And watch those french fries and ice cream!
More advice if you want to improve.
Joan Baez sings “You’re Aging Well.”
"I'm so glad that you finally made it here
With the things you know now, that only time could tell
Looking back, seeing far, landing right where we are
And oh, you're aging, oh and I am aging oh, aren't we aging well?"
—Dar Williams, “You’re Aging Well”
Find a little wonder this week and work in a little pie now and then.
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