Aging gracefully

Turning 100 or 120 years of life will be a common event in the near future, "In 2020, for the first time in history, those over 60 will outnumber those under 5 years old," warns the Organization World Health, WHO; But the most accurate information for many is that we do not realize when the boy from yesterday already surpasses us in height. Increasing longevity also poses a challenge for science, health authorities, and ourselves.

Yes, it is a feat to stay healthy after the line of 60 or 70 years, when arthritis, decrease in muscle mass, vision and hearing, memory loss, among other ailments, humans can act on their aging itself, protecting itself from risk factors and acquiring habits from childhood.

<br>• 10 steps a day, through the brain. Since walking uses all levels of the nervous system, from the brain to the muscle, coordinated in a variety of complex ways, walking is a very efficient way to benefit cognition. Thus, while many forms of exercise are advisable for general health, the greatest benefit comes from walking. Current guidelines call for each adult to walk 10.000 steps a day for maximum brain preservation. It is not necessary to do it all at once. Therefore, it is necessary for each of us to wear a pedometer, to check how many steps we usually take in 24 hours and to strive to reach the goal of 10 steps.

<br>• Do not withdraw entirely. Cellist teacher Pablo Casals, who was still giving concerts at the age of 90, once said: 'To retire is to prepare to die.' If a person reaches normal retirement age, and no longer finds their job rewarding, they should choose another career! This does not necessarily mean that a person must find another job per se (although this may be a good option for some). The new “career” may consist of a variety of activities, such as spending more time playing a musical instrument (or learning to play one!); learning a foreign language (or revising one that started earlier, at school); exercise, and volunteer work (for example, a retired engineer might tutor high school students struggling in math).

<br>• Dose the TV. Several studies have shown that long-term television viewing is directly correlated with cognitive decline. Most of the time, there is a more satisfying way to spend your time than lying in front of the "silly box."

 

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