6 Lifestyle Habits Of 'Super-Agers' That Will Keep You 98% Younger Than Other People Your Age

Being mindful of starting healthy habits now will have a huge impact on your quality of life as you age.

a super ager brusinski / Getty Images Signature via Canva 

As we grow older our memory tends to fade. But for the lucky few, this may not always be the case.

Family physician and best-selling author Dr. Mark Hyman specializes in all things health-related. In an Instagram post, he identifies who these people, referred to as super-agers, are, and what we can do to live like them.

RELATED: Why Some People Age Faster Than Others, According To Research


What is a "super-ager"?

According to the National Institute on Aging, “Some people remain cognitively sharp into their 80s, 90s, and beyond, defying the common assumption that cognitive decline is a natural part of aging.”

These people are known as super-agers and there's a lot we can all learn from them.

For starters, super-agers do not exhibit the same degree of wear and tear found in other people around their age.

Instead, researchers found that the memory, attention, cognitive control, and motivation regions of their brains are thicker in super-agers compared to their counterparts. The National Institute on Aging states, “Researchers found that super-agers' brains contained a much higher density of a particular type of cell called Von Economo.”


This is important since these neurons tend to be associated with both awareness and social intelligence.

RELATED: 20 Very Important Habits Of People Who Age Extremely Well

Okay, so how do we become like super-agers then?

There are a few commonalities Dr. Hyman observed in super-agers that the rest of us can try to emulate.


6 Habits That Keep Super-Agers Younger Longer

1. Staying physically active.

The CDC writes, “Physical activity can help you think, learn, problem-solve, and enjoy an emotional balance. It can improve memory and reduce anxiety or depression.”

In one study, researchers found people who exercise less tend to experience cognitive decline compared to their counterparts.

If you aren’t sure how often you should work out, here's are some weekly guidelines from the CDC:

  • 150 minutes of moderate-intensity workouts or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity workouts
  • Two or more days of muscle strength training
  • Three days of balance activities for adults 65 or older



2. Reading and learning new skills regularly.

There are many benefits of being 'book smart' — including sharpened memory. National University notes studies have shown that “brain-stimulating activities from reading have been shown to slow down cognitive decline in old age with people who participated in more mentally stimulating activities over their lifetimes.”


But that’s just the half of it! Reading has also been shown to help build both empathy and curiosity, helps to build your vocabulary, eases stress, and improves sleep quality.

A study conducted by neuroscientist Dr. Denise Park found something interesting about the benefits of learning new skills.

In this study, 200 older participants were assigned different activities and engaged in these activities for 15 hours a week for three months straight. In the end, these participants were given a memory test and were then compared to the other control groups.

Memory improvement was observed and maintained a whole year later. Not only that, but participants who learned the most difficult skill — photography — benefited the most and showed the greatest improvement in memory compared to other groups.


3. Continuing to work well into your 80s.

Though this may not appeal to most people, delaying retirement could benefit your memory in the long run.

Chris Farrell writes, “A large study of nearly half a million self-employed workers in France suggests that delaying retirement means people may be at less risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.”

This is perhaps a hard pill to swallow, but the outcome of this study makes perfect sense.

Through work, "We are forced to engage and use our brains continuously", writes Farrell. This means our brains are constantly learning and reinforcing what we learn daily.

RELATED: The State Of Mind That Keeps You Alive Longer, According To Research


4. Surrounding yourself with family and friends.

Being social can have loads of benefits, and according to Kelly Bilodeau, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch, “Socializing can stimulate attention and memory and help to strengthen neural networks.”

She notes that one particularly large study of 12,000 participants found that loneliness increases our risk of dementia by 40%, highlighting just how important social interaction is.

If you are someone who struggles with forming social connections, here are a few things Bilodeau suggests you consider:

  • Rekindle old friendships
  • Build quality connections, don't focus on quantity
  • Try using technology to connect if in-person isn’t possible

5. Remaining an active participant in your community.

According to the Fisher Center For Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, a study involving 2,476 participants found that older people who volunteer have "better memory and thinking skills than their peers who didn’t volunteer."


And the more you help others out the better, as, "Volunteering several times a week provided the greatest boost in brain health, compared to those who volunteered less than once a month or only sporadically."



6. Maintaining a strong sense of connection to others.

Social connection is essential to both our mental and physical health. The CDC reports that people with meaningful connections feel less stressed, get better sleep, have better overall health, and a better quality of life.

Social isolation, on the other hand, can Increase the risk of heart disease, depression, and cognitive decline.


So, be sure to socialize and spend time with your loved ones. It could greatly benefit you in the long run.

RELATED: The Moment That Changed How I View Aging And Beauty Forever

Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.