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Teaching an Old Dog Some New Tricks

The old saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is simply wrong.

Being someone you might call “an old dog”, I am sure I can learn all sorts of new things, tricks as well. Difficult? Maybe, but the idea that an older person is somehow less able to learn new things is a myth. Okay, so we are not as quick as we once were, and I am resigned to some limitations caused by aging, but in my mind, I feel like I am much younger than my age.

Aging and hep C

Aging and hep C is not something that has received a lot of attention, but more and more, we are seeing some attention, as we have a large number of baby boomers that have been diagnosed. In terms of epidemiology, which is used to determine what age and other demographics, there is no question about the high prevalence of hep C in the baby boomer cohort (group). Not exclusively, by any means (it varies and there are other cohorts with much higher prevalence rates), but boomers make up a large portion of the population, and we are getting older.

How aging affects us

Back to the old dog thing, it is well studied that aging does affect us, especially in terms of memory. I don’t know the science of why, but it makes sense that as we grow older, we see some things not performing as well as when we were younger. Hopefully, it is a slow process, but apparently, it is unavoidable. Some will fight it, and I certainly would never suggest stopping anything that might improve how we function, big or small.

Slowing the process

Staying as active as we can reasonably sustain is a good thing at any age. I have been a believer in the idea of ‘keep moving‘. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean every moment of every day because who does that? Who can reasonably sustain that sort of thing? We need rest, and as we age, we need more rest. Not rocket science, it’s just the way it is. Even top athletes at any age need rest and time to restore their strength so they can obtain optimal performance. Most of us are not seeking this level of fitness, and let’s not forget our brain fitness.

“Use it or lose it”

Brain fitness could be defined in any number of ways, but one area that most of us notice as we age is memory, and most often, our short-term memory. There are as many self-improvement books and systems we could use to help improve this part of our brain health. The big message to me, and as I understand it, is simply “use”: Using our brain is like exercising our body. The more we use, the better it can be. The old adage “use it or lose it” makes some sense. Try to use your brain and other muscle as much as you feel comfortable with, it will help slow the process, and that is a good thing.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Kathy D
    10 months ago

    Hi Daryl,
    I must agree about the use it or lose it. I’ve found a short dance session when a good song comes on helps with my stamina. No one sees me so it’s a dance like no one is watching kinda dance. I’ve also tried jigsaw puzzles. I do well finding the edges and my husband & I race to fill in the inside. Love to read, it’s been my habit to read before lights out in the evening and has been since I was old enough to read without one of my parents reading a story to me. They instilled my love for reading.
    I bet your dog, Charlie keeps you out & about. That’s great, your stepping along and seeing the sights.
    Until next time, I’ll be seeing ya.

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