Hitting your peaks in life

Proactive Health

By pH health care professionals

Many people think they know when they hit their peak in life. But you may be wrong. Perhaps the best is yet to come.

A recent article in BBC news titled “What is the prime of your life?” examined research by Harvard scientist Josh Hartshorne, which was recently published in Psychology Science. The findings are that life has many peaks, whether it is in regards to fitness, brain function, social skills, knowledge and reasoning, sex life or life satisfaction. For example, you may peak in athletics in your 20s but be happiest in your 60s. It’s not “all downhill from here!”

So let’s take a look at when you hit those peaks and how you can extend those years of peak performance.

Your body

It is common knowledge that peak physical performance is frequently found in a person’s 20s. The body is usually at its leanest, muscle fibers and tendons are at their maximum strength and elasticity, and cardiac function and blood circulation is at its peak. However, older athletes tend to find their stride in super-endurance events like ultramarathons or triathlons and do very well in them. Many are still strong competitors well into their 70s.

In general, most physical functions slowly decline over time. Your sexual peak can be influenced by a number of factors. A male may peak at age 18, and a female may peak at 35, though this has been debated. Overall health has been linked with more frequent sex in the later years of life.

Your mind

One of the interesting findings was that the mind and the ability to put things together still develop over time. Reading and arithmetic, for example, improve into middle age, whereas other mental functions such as processing speed, creativity, memory and reaction time may be in decline.

Abilities for short-term memory, fast processing, facial recognition and word recall are best in the early 20s. Creativity tends to peak young and generally declines by age 40, as measured by when Nobel-prize work was done. Reasoning or finding out why things happened the way they happened may peak as late as the mid-50s. General knowledge may peak in the mid-50s. Verbal vocabulary tends to accumulate and increase till age about 60. Your various mental abilities peak at different times throughout your life.

These averages may also vary from person to person, depending upon their involvement with mentally stimulating activities, optimal lifestyle behaviors, nutrition and genetics.

How can you extend your years of peak performance?

Be proactive, recognizing areas of your health that are at risk for decline and taking the necessary steps to stop or reverse it. Knowing what your body really needs nutritionally and supplementing crucial minerals, vitamins, antioxidants as well as supportive herbs can go a long way when needed. You should also pay specialattention to your body fat percentage and hormone levels because they can significantly impact your energy levels, mood, strength, sexual function, weight and digestive functions.

Exercise is especially important as well, keeping you physically fit longer, fighting common age-related diseases, strengthening your memory and improving your sex life. This doesn’t mean you have to spend your days at the gym doing squats and curls. Functional training, for example, caters to your lifestyle so you can work out in a way that reduces your risk of injuries in your everyday life and that truly helps you achieve your goals in a way that you enjoy (get your free private training session here!).

Lastly, stay positive and enjoy a healthy life! Keeping a youthful outlook may help you to be more active and extend your peaks. Research shows that people who felt younger than their age had lower death rates. So make it mind over matter to “think young.”

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.