We’ve all seen someone a little on the older side who looks frail enough to blow away if the wind kicks up.
And you can’t help but wonder — if you’re lucky enough to have that many candles on your own birthday cake, is this how it has to be?
Well, the answer is no — not by a longshot!
In what could be one of the most significant studies conducted on how to prevent — even reverse — the ravages of aging, researchers out of Singapore have found some answers.
And this research has also revealed that by following some simple steps, you can not only look and feel better, but live longer!
You might want to dub this the “fountain of youth” study.
Associate professor Ng Tze Pin from the National University of Singapore, however, prefers to call it “lifestyle interventions to reverse frailty.”
I know that doesn’t sound quite as exciting, but what the professor found is something that everyone over a certain age needs to hear: Becoming frail “is not an inevitable part of aging.”
He and his team tracked 250 Singapore residents 65 and older for three years who were showing signs of becoming weak and fragile.
They randomly divided the volunteers into five groups and gave three of them either physical or mental intervention or a nutritionally-enhanced diet. They gave a fourth group all three therapies and gave the fifth control group none.
The team found that all of these simple approaches benefited everyone who received them, especially the lucky ones in the fourth group, who got all the advantages of that trio of lifestyle improvements.
The professor said that just having better nutrition and more physical and mental exercise can “reverse frailty,” and help seniors become stronger, walk faster, feel less depressed, and even think better!
Plus that, they’ll be much less likely to become disabled, end up in the hospital and die at an earlier age.
Whew! That’s a lot of benefits from what seems like some common-sense tweaks.
But this isn’t the first time that researchers have studied these approaches.
- Over a decade ago, a study out of the University of North Carolina confirmed that physical activity can improve your “cognitive performance” as it ups blood flow and oxygen to your brain.
- In a study of women over 65, University of California researchers found that those who walked more were “significantly less likely” to show symptoms of dementia as they aged.
- Researchers at Florida State University discovered that seniors who played bridge scored better on memory tests.
And as for nutritional approaches, that may be one of the most studied puzzle pieces when it comes to figuring out how to age more gracefully.
Some of the big players, as we’ve told you, include omega-3 fatty acids from either fish (such as salmon), nuts, seeds or supplements. That’s one reason why experts are increasingly hyping the benefits of a Mediterranean-style diet, which means including more fish and veggies in your meals and cutting down on red meat and sweets, as well as ditching GMO corn and soy oils for brain-healthy ones such as olive and coconut.
In fact, back in 2015, Alzheimer’s researchers at UCLA used such dietary changes to reverse dementia symptoms in nine out of 10 seniors!
In other words, getting older doesn’t necessarily have to mean “growing old.”
That fountain of youth might actually be something that’s right at your own front door — just waiting for you to take advantage of!
“Good nutrition, physical training and mental exercises can reverse physical frailty in the elderly: NUS study” National University of Singapore, June 19, 2017, Newswise, newswise.com