Thursday, April 14, 2011

Use it or Lose It. The Aging Brain

It seems that even if you have some Alzheimer’s by the time you go, which apparently lots of us will, building your cognitive reserve helps to offset the effects.  In other words, no one will notice that you’re not 100%, maybe not even you.  How do you do it?  You work on some or all of the following while you still have the chance, i.e., NOW!

Education.  This ain’t just schoolin’, although formal education helps.  This includes what we refer to as lifelong learning.  Taking classes, reading and talking to people about the things you learn about.
Stimulating activities.  Kayaking, attending concerts, working at a soup kitchen, and so on.  Doing, not sitting.  Getting out, not staying in.
Purpose.  What’s your purpose in life?  Is it taking care of people, making a better world, teaching others, or simply making each day count?  Whatever you do, make it purposeful.
Conscientiousness.  Whatever you do, do it with full intention, do it carefully, and finish what you start. 
Social networking.  How many ways can I say it?  People matter.  Whether you visit, do lunch or just call and chat, make time for the important people in your life.
Physical Exercise.  I suppose this is a no brainer, so to speak.  I don’t care if it’s walking or running, tennis or ping pong, yoga or zumba.  Do something!

You’re never too old to make a contribution, as Sidney Harman showed at 90. 
When I’m 64, The Beatles

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