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Voice of Experience

Voice of Experience: September 2023

Achieving Peak Performance

Michael L Goldblatt


  • Optimizing Aging Abilities: This article explores how various abilities, such as cognition, emotion, recognition, memory, strength, and vocabulary, peak at different ages and offers tips to maintain them.
  • Lifelong Fitness: Lifelong exercise is highlighted as a key to preserving abilities as we age, with specific recommendations provided for each skill, from mindfulness to vocabulary.
  • Well-Being Insights: The article underscores the significance of social connections, self-awareness, and adaptation to maximize psychological well-being during the aging process.
Achieving Peak Performance Agency

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About 50 years ago, Sylvester Stallone wrote and starred in an Oscar winning movie called Rocky. The inspirational film features an underdog plot, Philadelphia scenery, and music by composer Bill Conti. The movie can be viewed on most streaming services and the soundtrack (including iconic Gonna Fly Now) can be played on several YouTube channels. Rocky has many elements, but the dominant theme is achieving peak performance.

Like Rocky, we can attain top performance with exercise and mindfulness. As we age, we get better at some things, worse at others, and reach plateaus. However, lifelong exercise can help maintain abilities as we age.  Below are ages when abilities peak and recommendations for maintaining them.  

Aging and Abilities

Cognition - knowledge and thinking skills continue to improve through the 70's. Practice mindfulness and read books to expand knowledge.

Emotion - ability to control emotion peaks in the 50's. Regulate emotions by keeping a mood journal, listening to music, and using meditation.  

Recognition - memory for faces is greatest in the 20's and then declines around 30. Improve recognition skills by looking for facial markings like freckles and scars. Protect eyesight with annual checkups.

Memory - short-term memory peaks by mid-20's and then declines in the mid-30's. Improve memory by eating a brain-healthy diet, using mnemonic devices, and sleeping at least 7 hours every night.

Strength - physical strength peaks around 25 and then begins a gradual decline. Stay fit with aerobic exercise and strength training. Join a fitness club for reinforcement and socialization.

Vocabulary - vocabulary skills peak in the 60's. Develop your vocabulary by playing word games and putting new words into your conversations and writing.  

Well-Being - psychological well-being peaks in the 80's.  Stay socially connected with family and friends. Recognize your limitations and adjust your lifestyle.


Aging can adversely affect memory, strength, and vision, but abilities can be maintained by staying fit throughout life. Achieve peak performance by following the lifestyle tips mentioned in this article and using the resources listed below. Be Like Rocky - use exercise and mindfulness to achieve peak performance.