Feeling older than you are increases dementia risk

Mark Twain once said, “Age is an issue of mind over matter… if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

But there’s a difference between ignoring your age… and defying it.

You know what year you were born in. And even if you stopped celebrating birthdays once you went “over the hill,” you know how old you are.

But how old do you FEEL?

New research shows that it’s more important than you may think. In fact, it turns out that it’s even more important than how old you actually are!

According to a new study published in Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, feeling younger than you are can actually keep your mind sharper for longer.

But if you start to feel older into your later years – especially if you feel older than your actual age – your brain will actually follow suit and age more rapidly.

The study looked at nearly 6,000 elderly patients between the ages of 65 and 98 with normal cognitive function.

They reported how old they felt, compared to their actual age, and completed a series of tests to gauge their memory and thinking skills at study outset. They were tested again two years later, and then again at the four-year mark.

Researchers found that just feeling older made patients 18 per cent more likely to suffer cognitive impairment.

And it wasn’t just “in their heads” – because those who reported feeling older were also 30 per cent more likely to actually develop dementia.

I think the real key here is that when you feel older, you also act older. In the study, the incidence of cognitive decline and dementia was linked to depression and inactivity.

But when you feel younger, you’re more likely to stay physically and mentally active… to continue challenging yourself… and to rise to the occasion!

So don’t let anyone tell you that you’re too old to do something. If you feel good, get moving.

And if you don’t feel good, moving might make you feel better.

Activity stimulates endorphins, those naturally-occurring hormones that give you a little “high” after exercising. They’re not only a great mood-booster, but they’re also your body’s own natural pain reliever.

And staying active regularly can keep heart disease, dementia, and even diabetes at bay.

So pick up a new hobby, learn a new skill, wear what makes you feel good, and stay “young at heart.”

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Editor
Nutrition & Healing

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Source:

Seniors who feel ‘old’ more likely to have memory problems, reuters.com/article/us-health-aging-cognitive-decline-idUSKCN10U1OH

Feeling Older and the Development of Cognitive Impairment and Dementia, psychsocgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/07/19/geronb.gbw085.abstract

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