ENTERTAINMENT

Roll back the years with Rumba


HEALTH

How not to grow old

By Jane Gordon (Trapeze £ 16.99, 272pp)

60-year-old journalist Jane Gordon was hospitalized at 60 miles an hour after a terrible car accident that severely injured and mistreated her. She suddenly becomes dependent on others and gets an unexpected glimpse of what life could be like at her age.

In readiness and with a milestone birthday on the horizon, she decides to get into the best possible shape and faces a series of difficult challenges in order to be "future-proof" for both the mind and the body.

Gordon made it clear from the start that it is not just about looking young – it is a "botox-free book".

Jane Gordon (pictured) makes it clear from the start that it is not just about looking young – it is a “botox-free book”.

After all, our health is what determines our longevity, and like so many of us, Gordon had neglected taking her for granted so far and did nothing you should do about food and exercise. In fact, as a schoolgirl, she was so keen to avoid exercise that she faked severe abdominal pain, which resulted in her healthy appendix being removed.

For their experiment, Gordon asks brain guru Jon Simons, professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, for help. He explains that while it is impossible to stop the brain's degeneration, it can train it with new challenges to increase its neuroplasticity (its ability to change continuously throughout our lives) and maintain cognitive abilities longer.

In other words, "Use it or lose it", and in fact this book is about using it, since Gordon Road test programs have been specifically selected to keep your mind active and sharp.

To monitor her progress, she takes a series of cognitive tests at the beginning of her experiment. Four months later, when she has completed her challenges, she repeats the tests – and discovers that everything she has done has significantly improved her focus and focus. Even Professor Simons is amazed at their progress.

Each chapter describes a new challenge to improve the mind and body, from ballroom dancing (good for warding off arthritis, Parkinson's, dementia and depression) to French lessons (learning a new language changes the structure and function of the brain and creates new connections run efficiently).

How not to grow old by Jane Gordon (harness £ 16.99, 272pp). Each chapter describes a new challenge to improve body and mind, from ballroom dancing to French lessons

How not to grow old by Jane Gordon (harness £ 16.99, 272pp). Each chapter describes a new challenge to improve body and mind, from ballroom dancing to French lessons

An advanced driving test is good for concentration and concentration, while music lessons can help improve the quality of our hearing in addition to supporting coordination. Swimming, training in the gym, brain teasers, puzzles, meditation and mindfulness – and even a master class in the art of orgasm – are accompanied by a healthy diet.

The book is peppered with interesting scientific facts: the orgasm increases the blood flow to the brain so that oxygen and nutrients get there – and is therefore more stimulating than any intellectual challenge.

How Not To Get Old is a simple and entertaining read and a useful addition to the pantheon of self-help books that encourages us to keep our lives full of new challenges.

Occasionally, it becomes schoolgirl-like restraint when it comes to topics such as sex and life drawing, with the associated (tee-hee) nudity.

To my taste, there could have been fewer larks and scientifically-based information on how to slow the aging process.

The book comes alive when there are interesting observations, such as how post mortem scientific research did reveal people with changes in the brain that indicated advanced Alzheimer's but did not show any of the symptoms.

It is believed that this is due to the fact that they stimulated their brains with lifelong educational curiosity and were able to compensate for the physiological damage and continue to function as usual.

Ultimately, this is a positive and life-affirming guide with a good “snack” for those who want to make sure they get more out of life as they get older. And it confirms what I believed in for a long time: People need projects.

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