There are constantly new studies suggesting different ways to slow both physical and mental aging.  This month alone, the news has featured research suggesting the following:

  • Aging with pets in place can increase life satisfaction overall, and research suggests that pets may be associated not only with less loneliness, stronger social support systems, and increased participation in the community, but also better cardiovascular health, lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.
  • A study from the University of Leeds suggests that tickling may slow down aging.  The study involved the use of electrodes on the participants’ ears to simulate a tickle-like tingling sensation.  Two weeks of 15-minute daily tickling therapy were believed to improve the balance of the autonomic nervous system.
  • People who are optimistic may live longer.  For groups of both women and men, those who were optimistic long-term had a better chance of living to age 85 (and beyond).  Optimism has been linked with goal-setting and healthier habits and, accordingly, fewer optimistic people are believe to die prematurely from stroke, heart disease, or cancer.
  • Consistent with previous research, a new study by the University of Iowa has linked exercise to a healthy aging brain.  Even a single bout of exercise was considered to improve cognitive function and working memory in older participants.

While there may be nothing to prevent aging altogether and/or to totally eliminate the risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other age-related cognitive decline (absent any major scientific breakthrough), in general, taking health and wellness more seriously from an earlier age may improve quality of life and independence down the road.

Thank you for reading.

Nick Esterbauer

 

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