Socializing Trumps Exercise in Combating Aging

  • “You are as old as you feel”
    • How old do you feel?
    • How old do you feel…
      • mentally?
      • physically?
      • emotionally?
  • Would you want to live to 100?
    • “I hope not” ~ my little grandmother when I told her that she was going to live to be 100.
  • How long do you want to live for or to be?
    • “Three score and ten”
      • “Threescore years and ten” is a quotation from Psalm 90:10 in the KJV.
  • What was the best age of your life…
    • physically?
    • mentally?
    • emotionally?
  • If you could pick one age to stay at for the rest of your life, what age would you choose?
  • Some scientists think that “if you’re alive in 30 years you might be in 1,000 years too“. Would you want to live to 1,000 years old?
    • Do you think of the advantages?
    • Do you think of the disadvantages?
    • Would life be more meaningful or less meaningful?

“You are as old as you feel,” the saying goes, but amid the boredom of lockdown many people are starting to feel their age. Then how can they shed a few years and a few pounds to feel better about themselves?

The Institute of Gerontology at the University of Tokyo looked at the aging of 50,000 people aged 65 or over in Tokyo and the surrounding region. One group exercised alone, and the other group did not necessarily exercise but spent time with other people. The group that exercised alone was at three times greater risk of aging.

That suggests that socializing is more important than exercise to keep people’s spirits up and their happiness hormones flowing. Spending time with others also involves getting around, helps reduce depression and injects a spring in your step. 

Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatric Hospital tracked 2,427 senior citizens over four years to find out how going out or socializing with others affected their physical vitality.

They checked if they either went out at least once a day or met with or talked on the phone with someone else at least once a week.

Naturally those who did both scored the highest, but it was interesting that among those who did just one of the two, those who interacted with others scored better than those who regularly went out. That means having a chat had a bigger impact than going on a hike alone.

Due to the pandemic, many more people are have been cut off from social interaction for over a year and a half. Even sticking to a regular health regime is not enough, so it is vital to check in with others even just on Zoom or on the phone. 

  • What do you do to stay young?

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