If you think getting older is a total burden, think again. Take it from those who are already there. According to a survey by AARP, 67% of participants aged 60 and over are satisfied or very satisfied with their life – and only 10% consider this phase of life to be a shame.
“The results of this survey are further confirmation of something that many people, especially the elderly, instinctively know that our older ages can be great,” commented Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO of AARP. “However, I think the survey is also a pretty strong reminder that we all face a lot of negative associations about aging – some of them are ‘in the culture’ and some of them can be self-generated, but it’s all harmful and, as this poll shows, it is often wrong. “
Even so, 10% is still a lot in our opinion. If you’re one of those people over 60 who wants to live happier, healthier, and more energetic and fulfilling lives, there are a number of lifestyle adjustments and choices you can apply to your life to achieve just that. Read on to learn more about some secret tricks for living smarter after 60 that you can start doing as soon as possible. And for more advice on living healthy for your golden years, don’t miss out on the best exercises for building stronger muscles after 60, experts say.
We all know the importance of maintaining friendships and having an active social life. For older adults, however, research suggests that the number of friends is not so important as the quality. A study published in Psychology and Aging shows that older adults feel better when they have a small circle of close friends as opposed to a long list of acquaintances. In addition, older adults with some close friends said they were happier than younger people with a long list of casual friends.
Another research project published in PLOS One compared the lifestyles of 80-year-olds with incredible cognitive longevity, who have the cognitive capacity of a 50-year-old, to other 80-year-olds who are considered cognitively average. There was one major difference: the cognitively robust participants stated that they had more close friends.
“You don’t have to be the life of the party, but this study supports the theory that maintaining strong social networks appears to be associated with slower cognitive decline,” commented lead study author Emily Rogalski, associate professor at Northwestern’s Cognitive Neurology and Center for Alzheimer’s disease. For more great happiness hacks, read about how spending $ 5 on it will bring you instant happiness, Science Says.
We have already noticed that many older adults have busy schedules. Still, taking time out for a short walk each day can offer a variety of great health benefits. Research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that brisk walking for as little as an hour a week can help prevent and relieve sore and sore joints, stiff muscles, and arthritis. That corresponds to only nine minutes of walking per day. A small price for improved mobility and ultimately independence in old age.
“This is less than 10 minutes a day to keep your independence. It’s very doable, ”says lead author Dorothy Dunlop, professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University, in a press release. “This minimum threshold can motivate inactive older adults to begin their journey into a physically active lifestyle with the wide range of health benefits that physical activity promotes.” And to learn more about walking, make sure you are aware of the one big side effect of walking more every day, according to science.
Unless you’re an avid golfer, there is no better time to pick up a new putter. Even better, scientists report that golfing can actually lower the overall risk of death for older adults. According to the results presented at a recent American Stroke Association conference, regular golfers over 65 (defined as golfing at least once a month) had a significantly lower death rate (15.1%) over a 10-year observation period compared to Non-golfers (24.6%). Almost 6,000 elderly people were involved in this work.
Why is golf so beneficial? Researchers suggest that it provides older adults with a way to get outside, hang out with friends, and do physical activity with little risk of injury.
“While walking and jogging with low intensity can be comparable exercises, they lack the competitive excitement of golf,” says lead study author Dr. Adnan Qureshi, professor of neurology at the University of Missouri at Columbia, Missouri. “Regular exercise, a less polluted environment and social interactions through golf are all good for your health. Another positive aspect is that older adults can still play golf unlike other more strenuous sports like soccer, boxing, and tennis. Other positives include stress relief and relaxation, which golf seems better suited to than other sports. “Other reasons to click the links are here for the secret side effects of golf,” says Science.
The centuries-old Chinese martial art, Tai Chi, may be the perfect new hobby for older adults to enjoy in their spare time. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine reports that three months of practicing tai chi in older adults is just as effective as traditional forms of exercise in reducing belly fat.
Tai Chi, often referred to as “meditation on the move,” is also beneficial for the elderly as it improves freedom of movement and balance. In addition, another research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that three months of tai chi helped alleviate symptoms of depression in a group of older adults. And for more ways that you can feel better right away, make sure you are aware of the one thought to keep in mind when you are stressed out, according to a new study.
It may be no secret that exercise is a good idea, but you will be surprised how many benefits exercise can offer older adults. Consider the results of this study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Scientists discovered that just following a single training session immediately afterward in a group of older adults (aged 60 to 80) improved both working memory skills and cognitive performance.
“One of the conclusions of this study is that you can imagine the benefits day after day,” explains corresponding study author Professor Michelle Voss of the University of Iowa. “In terms of behavior change and cognitive benefits from physical activity, you can say, ‘I’m just going to be active today. I will benefit from it.’ So you don’t have to think about training for a marathon to get your peak performance. You can just work on it day in and day out to get those benefits. “
As an added bonus, try to find time for your fitness routine in the morning. This study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found that AM training gave older adults a significant cognitive boost during the rest of the day.
Talking openly about mental health has long been a taboo. Therefore, it makes sense that many older adults who grew up in a completely different society would be very reluctant to admit it when faced with problems from a psychological perspective. This is backed up by the results of a recent survey that found that up to six in ten older Americans (aged 65+) who think they are depressed are not seeking treatment or support. Another third are waiting to “get out of it” and 61% say their problems are “not that bad”.
An Australian study came to similar conclusions and found that over 40% of older Australians living with a chronic illness are unlikely to seek psychological support – even if they really could use help.
There is no reason to suffer silently in 2021. No matter how old you are, it is important to seek support. “Seniors do not proactively seek help, and even when psychiatric problems are identified, many refuse treatment because of the mental health stigma that is widespread, especially among the older generation,” said Dr. Parikshit Deshmukh, CEO and Medical Director of Balanced Wellbeing LLC in Oxford, Florida. “There is a misconception that depression is a normal part of aging, but it’s not. And seeking help can not only improve lives, it can save lives.”