close
Magazine
Advertisement
 

Secrets of ‘Superagers’

You might call them superheroes of the over-60 set.

Secrets of ‘Superagers’
iStock
Secrets of ‘Superagers’
Advertisement
A superager is someone between the ages of 60 and 80 who has the memory of someone 20 to 30 years younger.

Even more remarkable, superagers aren’t as rare as you might think.

In a recent Harvard Medical School study, nearly half of the older adults tested performed as well as or better than 18 to 32 year olds.

The key is to keep brain tissue in parts of the cortex from thinning.

After all, the brain is a muscle, too. 
 
The question, then, is how to find the right mental workout.

The answer: it isn’t easy. In fact, the authors of the Harvard study say that forcing yourself to push through unpleasant and difficult situations is exactly what it takes to pump up your brain.

Learning a new language or playing challenging foes in bridge can work. The key is to leave your brain feeling exhausted.

A sudoku or a run-of-the-mill crossword won’t cut it.

“You must expend enough effort that you feel some yuck,” writes Lisa Feldman Barrett, one of the study’s authors.

“Do it till it hurts, and then a bit more.”
 
Extreme focus on physical tasks can turn back the clock as well, but again, you’ve got to feel the pain.

One superager example: French amateur cyclist Robert Marchand, who set a world record in one-hour cycling – in the over-100 division. Now 105, Marchand appears to be getting fitter as he ages, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
 


Advertisement
Words to Live By

Words to Live By

It’s not about adding years to your life but adding life to your years. So how can you feel – and look – younger at any age? Often it starts with a single word…
5 Funniest Tweets About Getting Fired

5 Funniest Tweets About Getting Fired

The people of Twitter reveal the reason they lost their last job, using the hashtag #WhyIGotFired.
How much do you need to fork out to host the World Cup?

15 Favourite Facts that are False

Relax: it turns out we don't swallow eight spiders a year in our sleep after all.
It’s 2018. Do You Know Where Your Kids Are?

It’s 2018. Do You Know Where Your Kids Are Posting?

It’s official! Facebook has fallen out of favour with teenagers. So what platforms are they flocking to now?
Advertisement