New Study Finds the Secrets to Optimal Aging!

New Study Finds the Secrets to Optimal Aging!

According to some new research, a number of key factors to aging gracefully have been identified! Here are the rules you should follow in order to stay looking and feeling young for as long as possible!

The study that followed over 7,000 middle aged and older Canadians for about three years, found that maintaining physical, cognitive and emotional health was most linked to being female, married, fit, physically active, wealthier, non-smoker and free of diagnosis such as arthritis, insomnia or heart disease.

The research team made sure to select really healthy participants at the beginning of the study.

More precisely, as a baseline, they had to be free of chronic pain, memory issues, physical disabilities and serious mental illness.

In addition to that, they were also required to have a proper social support and a high level of life satisfaction and happiness.

Mabel Ho, the study’s first author, explained that “We were surprised and also delighted to learn that over 70 percent of our sample maintained their excellent health across the study period. Our findings underline the importance of a strength based rather than a deficit based focus on aging and on older adults. The media and studies tend to ignore the positive and only focus on the problems.”

Based on the participants’ ages, there were significant variations.

For instance, 3 quarters of those aged 55-64 remained in perfect health throughout the period of the study.

As for those older than 80, this was the case for half of the participants.

About this, the author said that “It’s remarkable that half of those 80 years and older maintained this really high bar of cognitive, physical, and emotional wellbeing across the 3 years of the study. This is amazing news for older adults and their families who might anticipate that precipitous decline is inevitable for those 80 years and older. By understanding factors associated with proper aging, we can work with older adults, families, policymakers, and with researchers to create an environment that supports a vibrant and healthy later life.”

The research shared in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health also found that older participants who were obese were less likely to maintain their excellent health throughout the study.

When compared to those within normal weight, they were 24 percent less likely to age optimally.

Co-author David Burnes explains that “These findings highlight the importance of maintaining a proper weight and engaging in an active lifestyle throughout the life course.”

As mentioned before, income was also a factor that played a big role.

That being said, only around 50 percent of those below the poverty line managed to age optimally.

As a comparison, the same was the case for 3 quarters of those above the poverty line.

This is likely due to the fact that a low income restricts people’s health choices, including their nutrition.

Finally, the participants were 46 percent more likely to stay in great health if they didn’t smoke and 29 percent if they didn’t experience sleep problems.

Katherine Baldwin

Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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