Just wait until you are older, the weight just stays on
Yeah I have aches and pains, it’s just because of age, nothing to do about it
I wish I was bendy and energized like these kids running around, I remember those days
I used to be able to, or was in better shape when I was younger, I don’t know what happened
Oh well, it’s just the way it is, it is what it is
Oh Hell the F**k no it isn’t!
Man, I am usually not triggered by much, but one thing that sets me off is when the majority people play the victim card if they are at a place in their journey when the odds just seemed to be pinned against stem. Not because I am mad at them or angry, it comes from a place of empathy and compassion because I KNOW that age does not matter. It is the decisions yoou make during the years that dictate what your lifestyle is like in the future. They (and maybe even you) do not believe in their own ability to take control of the steering wheel and start headed in the direction they say they want to… But do you just want it, or are you willing to put in the work for it? Because it is easy to stay consistent, it is hard to build the momentum, and THAT is where most people get stuck; in figuring it out and not making their health, fitness & wellness a staple in their daily agenda.
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We are obsessed with happiness, comfort, and keeping things under control by tiptoeing around life sheltering ourselves from risks & challenges. Sure, it’s important to think with your head to avoid making dumb decisions that put you in danger… but there is a tipping point where sheltering yourself too often from discomfort, challenge, unpleasant situations, & learning new things causes you to not live up to your full potential. Today, I want to share with you how you can flip the script and start making this year the big one to remember because YOU took a chance on yourself to take on something new, uncomfortable, & that will directly help you Live Better Every Day for a long, long time…
Welcome to the Path to Become a Super Ager!
But wait, what is a Super Ager?
Coined by Neurologist Marsel Mesulam, a Super Ager is someone who is over the chronological age of 65, yet has the memory & attention of a healthy and active 25 year old. We all know of at least one retired adult who is sharp, nimble, energized & as if they are stuck in a young body through their ambition and activities.
Focusing on how becoming a Super Ager is what we should all strive to do if living long, strong, and superhuman is on your to-do list in this lifetime (which it should be)! I mean, isn’t the goal to have a human body & brain that can provide you as many quality years of living as possible? But in order to get there, it takes effort on your part to do the things that help promote Living Better Every Day.
Just like a muscle adapts to repeated use, single sessions of exercise may flex cognitive neural networks in ways that promote adaptations over time and lend to increased network integrity and function and allow more efficient access to memories,” Dr. J. Carson SmithUniversity of Maryland. (2019, April 25). Exercise activates memory neural networks in older adults
The study noted above results showed that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise increased activation in the brain region associated with short & long term memory, coordination and navigation in older adults; called the hippocampus. Participants’ brain activation was significantly greater in four brain cortical regions after exercise compared to after rest.
Short-term memory tests were performed 30 minutes after 2 different scenarios; memory test following exercise that was about 70% maximum heart rate, or after no exercise (rested). Older adults performed significantly better after the exercise compared to tests performed after no exercise.
Another study through Massachusetts General Hospital conducted a study using MRI imaging scans on the brain of 17 ‘Super Agers’ versus the brains of similar aged ‘normal agers’. They found that these 17 individuals had less atrophy from aging in areas of the brain that are responsible for emotional circuitry, language, stress responses, regulation of internal organs, and even the coordination and sharpness of the five senses.
Okay Sean, I’m sold and want to get started on being stronger, longer NOW…
But How exactly do you BECOME a Super Ager? What activities will help increase your chances of retaining mental sharpness through life? Is it as simple as crosswords, walks in the park and relaxing after retirement?
Actually, it’s quite the opposite! Whether you effort is physical or mental, you need to work hard at something. Doing ‘hard stuff’ is uncomfortable during, making you feel bad or be challenged in a way that is not always the best feeling during. The voluntary & momentary unpleasantness means you are building strength, momentum & discipline that unlocks a huge increase in your potential to have a sharper memory, more supple body & greater ability to live your best life as long as possible.
YOU are in CONTROL of your CIRCUMSTANCES, not a victim of a CYCLE
So based on the findings from the scientific studies above, and summing up this article, the two things in particular that contribute most to stimulating and strengthening these essential brain areas are:
- Vigorous Physical Exercise
- Strenuous Mental Effort
Join a new Gym, take on an obstacle race, play a new instrument, embrace the ‘yuck’ in hard workouts such as a Density Conditioning or Strength focused session, learn a new language, sign up for an educational course, or even listen to an engaging podcast.
Right now, you can voluntarily embark into new learning, challenges & opportunities so the functioning your emotions, language, stress response, organs & five senses can become even more clean & clear with every passing year; rather society leading you to believe that you are “supposed to lose” all of these things with age.
This is your life, you can decide how your future will unfold. You have the ability to draw the map for the future health of your Body, Brain, Relationships, and Health as a whole. The map will have bumps, detours and difficult navigation… but each of them are always followed by beautiful discoveries, enlightening opportunities, and a reward that makes the momentary discomfort worth every moment.
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