Five fun boosters for healthy ageing

Don't age lying down. Remain active with these five fun boosters.

Martial arts
Soak up the sunshine

1. Keep it rolling with martial arts

We all know how bad a hip fracture can be. But how can you practise fighting that? Well … by practising fighting. A study conducted in the Netherlands in 2010 found that learning martial arts is of particular benefit to seniors in preventing hip fractures.

And we’re not talking about meditative activities like qi gong either. We mean active martial arts styles such as judo, aikido and the like, where you practise falling and rolling on the ground safely. Then, whether you’re facing an angry judoka or accidentally tripping over a fallen object at home, you’ll be using your body smartly and defending it against hard landings.

2. A delicious brain boost

Want a tasty snack that will also boost your brainpower? Try a handful of berries. Various studies have found that older adults who ate blueberries and strawberries had healthier, better-functioning brains. Specifically, berry-munching subjects experienced “enhanced task-related brain activation” and better “resting perfusion”—that is, better blood flow in their brain tissue. On top of that, results also proved that an intake of blueberry concentrate led to improved spatial memory – which may help you find more berries!


3. Taking a deep breath

Chronically elevated stress is blamed for contributing to a whole host of problems. And the simplest way to get rid of it? The answer is, well, right under your nose.

Psychology, psychiatry and sport scientists alike have found that deep breathing had a positive measurable effect on lowering stress levels in subjects who practised it, as shown by levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone, found in their saliva. Practising deep breathing also boosted subjects’ attention spans, improved heart rate variability, and elevated overall mood.

4. Soak up the sunshine

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, vitamin D keeps your bones strong, helps you fight cancer, helps protect your arteries against heart disease, helps prevent diabetes, and assists your immune system. Yet according to the ABS, almost one in four Aussies are deficient of dynamic vitamin D. Meanwhile, an Israeli study found that having adequate levels of vitamin D protected against hospitalisation and death from COVID-19. Ways to get the vitamin include eating foods like as salmon and sardines, taking supplements, or just enjoying that lucky old sun (while being sun-smart, of course).


5. Dance, dance, dance

Want to reverse signs of ageing in your brain? Then get moving to a beat. A neuroscience study in 2017 showed that while all regular exercise is good for the brain, dancing had “the most profound” anti-ageing effect, versus more basic endurance and flexibility training. Dancing particularly benefitted the hippocampus, which is needed for memory, learning and balance—and can be prone to age-related decline. Study authors put down the special effects of dancing to the challenge involved, as participants had to learn new routines regularly, recall them under time pressure, and do so without cues from an instructor. We are told that dancing may also increase your risk of social interactions, but other than that, we approve!



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