Carol Seigler, a SuperAger, maybe 85 years old but she is as sharp as a pencil. How does that happen, well apparently it has nothing to do with a special diet or routine in fact it may be just the opposite.
Cognitive neuroscientist Emily Rogalski says not keeping to a routine can actually be healthy for the brain.
According to scientists SuperAgers have the brains of people who are 30 years younger than them. Generally speaking eating plant and whole foods, exercising often and having positive social interactions have all been considered ways to maintain cognitive abilities until old age.
However the lifestyles of SuperAgers vary quite widely.
In an interview with Insider Rogalski said that there was no hard and fast rule, some may be super exercisers and health nuts while others confess to eating take out food and TV dinners.
One SuperAger Carol Siegler said that she doesn’t have a strict exercise routine or a superfood diet. She said she wakes up at an average time and has an average breakfast with things like oatmeal, omelets and French toast.
She also said she is fond of putting coffee on the pot first thing and then playing Wordle or attempting the New York Times Spelling Bee as she waits for her morning cups.
Siegler said she has been eating more plant-based meals but she said she doesn’t exactly follow any sort of diet. She also does chair yoga classed twice a week and uses her hospital gym for other exercises.
She played volleyball in college but did little else for much of the adult life as her husband and children exercised.
“I don’t have a specific routine, I just do sort of the average things that people do. I go to bed. I don’t’ take a lot of medication, I don’t have a special diet.
Rogalski said that Siegler’s lack of an exercise routine or dietary plan may appear contradictory to aging well but the constant change is what makes her so sharp.
SuperAger Carol Seigler
“Our brains actually like change. Changing things up and having some variation helps to keep us on our toes,” she said.
Rogalski said that one common pattern that was observed among these SuperAgers is their love for challenges. They tend to always want to read new books, play puzzles or mind games or learn new things.
“I like learning things. I was always the little kid who read everything there was.” She also keeps a puzzle book by her bed and sometimes plays it at night.
Siegler encourages people who want to stay healthy to change their routine frequently.
“You get into a groove and if you stay too long it’s a rut, then it’s a trench, then it’s a tunnel. Just keep turning your head and looking around.”