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Tips on aging for all ages: more museums, less food

By 2014/03/07eating

Would you like to prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s or other diseases? If you know friends or family members who have experienced the effects of these diseases or their treatments, you may be wondering what you can do to help minimize your risk. But you may not have considered searching for the answers in a museum.

My husband and I purchased Balboa Park Day Passes on a recent trip to San Diego. MetLife had a terrific display at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. Of everything I saw in several museums this day, this display was the most practical.

DSC_6678 Aging for all Ages MetLife

This contents of this display would make a terrific outline for an adult health education course on how to:

  • maintain the health of your brain, bones, lungs, and skin, or
  • learn how to reduce the risk of common diseases such as Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis and cancer.

Did you realize that eating less, for example, may help reduce your chance of disease and extend your life? Here’s some advice from the writing on the red wall.

Less Is More!

Calorie restriction is a diet consisting of 25 to 40 percent fewer calories than normal but includes all the needed nutrients. Research in animals has shown this to have a remarkable effect on reducing disease and the result of aging. 

However, calorie restriction is difficult to do over a lifetime. Scientists have yet to determine how safe it is and to what degree, if any, it will extend our life span. But studying calorie restriction offers new insights into the aging process and the biology of aging that could influence healthy aging as well as provide clues on how to prevent or delay diseases associated with aging. 

To help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s, keep your brain active:

Just as physical activity keeps your body strong, mental activity keeps your mind sharp and agile. That’s why it’s important to continue to learn and challenge yourself–whether by learning a foreign language, switching careers or even doing crossword puzzles. 

Regardless of age, an active brain produces new neural connections, the connections between nerve cells that allow these cells to communicate with one another. The new connections help you store and retrieve information more easily, even if your grey matter is topped by gray hair. 

To continue expanding your mind, try these tips: 

  • Take classes. 
  • Read regularly and keep a journal. 
  • Stay up-to-date on technology. Learn about computers and connect to the Internet. Consider using e-mail to stay in touch with friends and family. 
  • Join a book club or other discussion group. 
  • Explore the cultural life of your community. Attend concerts, lectures and plays. 
  • Continue musical or artistic talents or develop new ones. 
  • Volunteer to teach others your skills or knowledge. 

One way to help keep your brain active is to go to museums to learn from informative displays like this. This exhibition Aging for All Ages is funded by ongoing support from the MetLife Foundation Partnership for Lifelong Learning. Additional support is provided by Aging & Independence Services, a division of the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency.

You don’t have to be a MetLife patient or a San Diego resident to benefit from these health tips. This smart partnership benefits not only the organizations who pulled together the display, but also the people who visit the museum.

You know you’re getting older when your energy runs out before your money. AgelessFX

Fountain of Bacon cartoon Diffee

Next time you’re traveling and you’re torn between heading to a museum or restaurant, choose to feed your mind before your belly.

MetLife Foundation logo

 

doctorlorraine

Author doctorlorraine

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Ken Overman says:

    Great tips, Lorraine! I’d add one more: write your memoir! It’s good for the brain, can have a cathartic effect on blocked or supressed events, and is a legacy for the family….etc. You know the drill 🙂
    Thanks for keeping this going. I enjoy it very much.

    Ken

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