there is a group of people who Longevity researchers call them “superagers.” People over the age of 80, but with cognitive functions that are decades younger.
Conversely, your brain may be older than your actual age, which you want to avoid.
So what is the difference between a super ager and someone with a weak memory? Research in 2021 One of the key differentiators of following SuperAgers for 18 months was that they continued to learn new things throughout their lives.
Think of your brain like a bank account. Through learning, we “build up,” or make new connections between brain cells. Our memories are housed in these connections.
As we age, we naturally lose some of these connections. It’s like making a withdrawal every year. But the more we deposit throughout our lives, the less impact these withdrawals have on our net worth.
1 study Adults with more years of education were found to have more active frontal lobes when taking memory tests. Frontal lobe activity is associated with improved memory.
But higher education is not the only way to preserve memory. in another studyEven if they had a lower level of education, they had memory scores comparable to those who were more educated if they attended lectures and read and wrote frequently.
Keeping your brain healthy isn’t just about Sudoku, Wordle, or crossword puzzles. They can provide cognitive benefits, but for the most part you’re exercising with the knowledge and skills you already have.
It is learning that makes significant new connections in the brain. new skills and information. Superagers embrace and sometimes crave the frustration of learning things outside their expertise.
“Cross-training” the brain
Approach learning the same way you approach fitness training. I don’t go to the gym, I only train my forearms. You end up like Popeye.
It’s the same with the brain. For example, learning a new language trains different parts of the brain than learning a new sport or musical instrument.
You can cross-train your brain by combining mental and physical learning activities. Get out your calendar and use this plan to plan different types of activities.
- First day: Learn something mentally stimulating, like listening to a podcast or taking an online course.
- the 2nd day: Do something you need to learn through movement, such as a new sport, dance, or yoga pose.
- Third day: Be social. I have coffee with my friend and go to her party for dinner. Yes, social interaction is a form of learning, Associated with prevention of dementia.
Either way, learning new things keeps your brain young. So if reading this article reveals something you didn’t know before, it means that your brain is already aging at a slower pace.
Mark MilsteinPhD, is an expert in brain health, “Aging brains: new strategies to improve memory, protect immunity, and fight dementia”. He holds a PhD in Biochemistry and a BS in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from UCLA, with research in genetics, cancer biology, and neuroscience.follow him twitter When Instagram.
Do not miss it:
Want to earn more and work less? register For free CNBC Make It: Your Money Virtual Event December 13 at 12:00 PM ET.