How Scandinavian Seniors Stay Sharp
Did you know that it may be possible to train your brain to preserve your memory? Scientific article 2022 published in the journal Brain Science Scandinavian researchers hypothesized that in order to keep your memory sharp—despite aging—you must continually focus on three things: movement (physical exercise), relationship (social interactions), and passion (learning new things). These are considered essential elements for comparing gray and white matter loss in the brain. Therefore, in order to preserve your memory, it is important to stay active, stay socially connected, and pursue hobbies. As it happens, these things may be second nature to most old Scandinavians, from whom we can probably learn a lot.
to me Once, the average life expectancy for someone born today in the United States is 79.1 years. By contrast, the Scandinavian and Nordic nations of Sweden (83.3), Norway (82.9), Denmark (81.4), Iceland (83.5), and Finland (82.5) rank higher and live longer than we Americans do.
They’re happier, too. In 2022, for the fifth year in a row, Finland leads Ranking in the World Happiness Report. The other major Nordic countries – Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway – rounded out the top 10 as well, far ahead of the US, UK and Canada. Maybe we can all increase our happiness quotient, live longer, and preserve our memories if we take a few tips from the Nords. Keep reading to learn how.
Scandinavians are no strangers to staying active. “outdoor lifeAn amalgamation of the Norwegian words for fresh air and lifestyle, the expression literally translates as “living outdoors”—which makes sense, given that the Norse are great hikers, Passionate about nature. If hiking is too intense to get you moving, don’t worry: There’s also a type of hiking known as a “hike”.Nordic walk,” a workout that mimics the motion of cross-country skiing by using poles to propel yourself. Nordic Walking combines cardiovascular exercise with a strong muscle workout for your shoulders, arms, core, and legs; when you walk With Scandinavian sticks, you will activate your upper body muscles as well as your lower body muscles.
Instead, you can start with something less traditional: always pretending to be late. Increase your pace slightly (as if you were running backwards to a doctor’s appointment) during daily activities, such as walking to your car or picking up the mail. Study published in Neurology found that lower levels of LTPA (aka leisure-time physical activity) were associated with greater declines in cognitive performance, including executive function, semantic memory, and processing speed. A different study was published in Neurology found that among Swedish women, higher cardiovascular fitness in midlife was associated with a lower risk of dementia. So, move whenever you can!
“Co-housing” is a term that describes an intended community of private homes clustered around a common space. The term originated in Denmark in the late 1960s, and is now a common way of living for Scandinavians, with countries such as Sweden is experiencing booms in populations coexisting in communities. Danish architecture It has historically focused on community living as well – for example with apartment complexes featuring a communal courtyard to encourage interaction between neighbours.
If you can’t live with or near others, there’s another trick you can try: When you bump into an acquaintance at the supermarket or Video chat with your daughter, gesture for emphasis as you speak. I proposed an introduction paper Second Congress of the International Society for Gesture Studies. Gestures emphasize your state of mind, which is important because sharing feelings is the foundation of human communication. CDC reports Social isolation is associated with a 50 percent increased risk of dementia — so reduce your risk by staying in touch.
Scandinavians work fewer hours than Americans—and, as an added bonus, most get generous vacation packages. Some companies have even experimented Six hour workdays or a Four working days a week. So what does spending less time in the office translate to? More time for your hobbies, of course.
Study in Gerontology Journals found that participation in recreational activities in middle age was positively associated with the level of cognitive ability. Therefore, enjoying a hobby for an hour a week may help boost your memory. Focusing on a creative task gives the brain a workout that strengthens existing neural pathways and builds new connections. Tip: Mark “Hobby time” on your calendar. Making an appointment with yourself may increase your odds of following through.
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman world.