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How to be a Better Codger is designed as a collection of ideas that may help you enjoy life more, as you grow older. The articles are divided into the following flexible categories:
Just sitting is debilitating. The common complaints of aging are accentuated by lack of physical activity. Joint pain, lower back pain and neck aches are generally improved by strengthening the muscles that support those joints. Activity increases not only muscle strength, but also bone density. And don't forget that your heart is a muscle as well. Your body tissues respond to the demands you place on them. For certain, the process of becoming more physically fit is more of a struggle as your body ages (for example, getting back into shape for participation in a sports season requires about two or three weeks for a high school student, whereas becoming fit enough to actually play a sport may require six to nine months of gradually increasing activity for a fifty or sixty year old).
Learning new ideas and solving problems is the the miracle food for brain cells. Each time you confront a new problem and find a solution to it, your brain adds new connections. Performing mental activities that you are already good at doesn't add new connections, but rather, strengthens existing connections. And remember that physical activity and sunshine are specific and effective remedies for depression. Have a better mind by delving into new territory.
As we age, we lose friends through death, apathy and, at retirement, constriction of our daily social circles. On the flip side, we may be blessed with grandchildren, make new friends through new activities, or take the time to volunteer our knowledge and skills. Man is a social animal, and as such, is emotionally (and as a result, physically) fortified by social relationships.
Nearby and faraway, there are places that you have never seen. If you've traveled across half the world, well, there's another half yet to see. But right in your vicinity, there are likely museums, state parks, live theater and curio shops that you've never visited. There are residents of Arizona who have never visited the Grand Canyon, much less ever hiked into it. This may be the time in your life to cancel that cable TV subscription and look at the real "big screen."
An old codger doesn't know how to work an IPod. A better codger does. Want to make your own 18-inch-wide fractal TV antenna that receives like an 18-foot-wide antenna--and made by simply bending a piece of wire? (Just don't sit and watch too much TV.) Learn about high-yield vegetable gardens. What's the best mosquito repellent? Why are cotton socks evil?
Even a codger can learn to type--and open a new world of possibilities. How about learning to whittle? Learn the easiest possible ways to make pickles of every sort. Make the world's best cherry cheesecake. How about some Mediterranean recipies for special occasions or just an everyday meal? Leaning toward the dark side, you can turn the branch of a dead apple tree into a tobacco pipe, or grow your own organic tobacco and make your own tobacco kiln using a $10 CrockPot.
BetterCodger is not a medical site, nor are its suggestions to be considered medical advice, but our head codger does monitor issues of many of the latest medical journals and CDC bulletins, looking for useful information to pass on. The emphasis is on health, rather than diseases.
Here is where you will find snippets of the latest additions to BetterCodger, and links to the full articles.
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