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LEARNING FOR LIFE It’s never too late to learn

IT’S easy to think that learning stops after we leave school, but with more of us looking forward to an active retirement, it’s becoming increasingly important to understand that an active mind, is as good for your health as a strong heart.

Today’s advice is that as well as eating five a day, we should also follow seven simple rules for keeping our mind active:

• Stay curious and involved — commit to lifelong learning

• Read, write, work crossword or other puzzles

• Attend lectures and plays

• Enroll in courses at your local adult education center, community college or other community group

• Play games

• Try memory exercises • Garden

In recent years, investigators have learned much about what happens in the brain when people have a neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s, AD, or other dementias and these findings have also revealed much about what happens during healthy aging. As a person gets older, changes occur in all parts of the body, including the brain:

• Certain parts of the brain shrink, especially the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus - both of which are important to learning,

memory, planning, and other complex mental activities.

• In certain brain regions, communication between neurons can be reduced because white matter is degraded or lost.

• Blood flow to the brain can be reduced because arteries narrow and there is less growth of new capillaries.

• Damage by free radicals and inflammation also increases.

As a result, even the healthiest among us may notice a modest decline in our ability to learn new things and retrieve information, such as remembering names. However, if given enough time to perform the task, the scores of healthy people in their 70s and 80s are often similar to those of young adults. In fact, as they age, adults often improve in other cognitive areas, such as vocabulary and other forms of verbal knowledge.

It also appears that additional brain regions can be activated in older adults during cognitive tasks, such as taking a memory test. Researchers do not fully understand why this happens, but one idea is that the brain engages alternative mechanisms to compensate for difficulties that certain regions may be having. These findings have led many scientists to believe that major declines in mental abilities are not inevitable as people age.

So as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the role of continuous learning and education is

rising higher up the league table of lessons that can be learned in order to maintain your health into retirement.

They include:

• Controlling risk factors for chronic disease, such as heart disease and diabetes (eg keeping your cholesterol, blood pressure and weight at a healthy level)

• Enjoying regular exercise and physical activity

• Eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of vegetables and fruits

• Engaging in intellectually stimulating activities and maintaining close social ties with family, friends, and community The latest findings also add weight to the long held phrase “use it or lose it” and with evening classes, the new U3A movement, keep fit classes, and a host of opportunities to get active both in body and mind, there’s never been a more fun - and holistic way – to welcome on old age.

7, Copsewood Way, Bearsted, Maidstone ME15 8PJ

Excel Yacht Charters Dover

Yacht charter for private individuals or corporate entertainment.

It does not matter whether you want a day sail, two day sail, weekend or week.

Do you want to give your family and friends an experience of a lifetime?

As a business you’d like to entertain your favorite clients in an unusual environment.

Then come and join us aboard our Yachts based in Dover, only five hours from French Ports.

All yachts have Experienced, Professional Skippers and crew, who work in the local waters. They are experienced in teaching people to sail, so if you fancy having a go, don’t just sit there get involved.

Why not speak to us directly, we can then tailor it to suit your requirements.


t: 07710 647966 e: Maidstone November 2016

Excel Yachting

t: 07710 647966 Excel Yachting

Excel Yachting & RCPYC Ltd in association with the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club Dover

RYA training either in the Dover or Maidstone areas, or if you prefer online using an Interactive computer program.


RYA VHF / DSC Radio, 1 Day. RYA YM Ocean. RYA First Aid, 1 Day. RYA Basic Safety & Essential Navigation, 2 days.

RYA Day Skipper Theory, 6 days. RYA Coastal Skipper/YM Theory, 6 days. ONLINE INTERACTIVE COURSES.

RYA VHF / DSC Radio. RYA Basic Safety & Essential Navigation.

PROFFESIONAL ONLINE COURSES RYA Safe & fun Child Safety course.

RYA Professional Practice and Responsibilities. PRACTICAL SAILING COURSES

RYA Try Sailing, 2 days. RYA Competent Crew, 5 days.

RYA Day Skipper, 5 days. RYA Coastal Skipper, 5 days. Yachtmaster Coastal & Yachtmaster Prep week. Yachtmaster Coastal & Yachtmaster exam, 2 days.

For further information, availability, dates and pricing. Please: t: 07710 647966 e:

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