Mike has an amazing story to tell.
80 years old and still achieving way above many half his age!
Read how Mike keeps his mind sharp and active.
‘I am not academic.
I left school at fifteen, as young people raised in country towns did in the 1950’s. I have been blessed with good health through my working life, probably assisted by the fact that my occupation incorporated both physical and mental work.
‘In my sixties I was bitten by a roaming dog and knowing a lady who had lost both of her legs to tetanus I hastened to the medical centre for a tetanus jab. On realising that I hadn’t been to a doctor for probably fifty years he said that he had best give me check over now that I was there.
It turned out that I had rather high blood pressure.’
He said “the bad news is that you will have to take a pill for the rest of your life. The good news is that it seems that a glass of red wine with your evening meal is good for your heart” – which seemed a pretty good trade off to me.
He also said that regular exercise would help keep the blood pressure from rising further so I dusted off my old bike and had a half hour bike ride or jog each day. Given our district’s notorious wind more often the latter.
In my seventies I noticed that I had started to have a problem with remembering names, which was a bit of a concern. Then eighty rolled around and it was time to be checked for a driving licence renewal. Our DHB is one of the ones which had decided to add a cognitive test to the health check up. The lady conducting the test just confirmed that I had achieved an average pass grade. I found this hardly satisfying – I’m told that I am competitive.’
Then Mike found the Memory Foundation.
‘I’m not sure how I became aware of the Memory Foundation, nevertheless I did and purchased a copy of the 7-Day Boost Plan and put it into action. The book also reminded of the importance of keeping the body in trim along with mental exercise I put together a set of simple exercises that I had gleaned from various sources they cover maintaining muscle tone, supple joints and good balance. These take around twenty minutes.’
Mike’s Daily Plan:
‘My daily plan is for around fifteen minutes mental exercises, the physical exercises and my half hour jog. During the jog each day I try to see how many words I can think of starting with a letter of the alphabet, the letters changing in rotation. It is necessary to be strict with yourself (‘The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak’) particularly to jog when the weather is less that enjoyable. There often seems to be something more pressing or attractive to do.
I do the DomPost daily crossword (my Good Lady Wife is far more proficient at this) and word puzzles and read in the evenings. I am also editor of the district’s newspaper which takes an hour or so most days.
I have written four books, three published. The fourth never will as it was deemed to potentially ruffle too many feathers – I was just being honest.
Two years quickly rolled by and I found myself back at the Medical Centre for the Driving Licence renewal. The cognitive test was very different from the previous one, more complicated. Along with the usual questions were some unusual questions and tasks which I couldn’t see how pertained to driving a car. I was told that it was American sourced while the former was a New Zealand test.’
‘95% – that’s the highest we have ever seen in here!’
‘The testing lady didn’t comment on completion so I went to the waiting room for my turn at the doctor’s. The doctor had the test papers and said “let’s see how you got on” after taking a glance he said “you got 95%, it’s the highest we have ever seen here” then added” why didn’t you get a hundred?”
A very good question.
I still have a problem (although lesser) with remembering names. The test opened with being given and asked to repeat three times a full four line address. At the end of the test it had to be repeated. The address was fine except the man’s first name was completely gone! (it was Harry). Another test question was ‘Which world leader was assassinated in the 1960s?’ I answered “President Kennedy” First name? It just wouldn’t come. I said “I know his brother was Bobby and he was also assassinated and the other, Teddy just retired from Congress last year”. The questioner said “Well I didn’t know that but I want President Kennedy’s first name” – so no point.
So that’s my cerebral history.
I would add that we have been extremely fortunate in having grandchildren in the same town. We have had a lot to do with them as they have grown up which has helped to keep us in touch with the ever-changing world ( E.G. one granddaughter is studying engineering at Canterbury University). Plus they have been ever helpful as I stumble through the intricacies of the electronic age.’
Congratulations, Mike, from the Memory Foundation team!
And Mike’s magic sauce?
Now in its third print run, 7-Day Brain Boost Plan is full of tips, strategies and the 7-Day formula of exercises, muscle toning, suggested eating and mental exercise across Dr Allison Lamont’s six key memory skills. Get a copy now for yourself or a friend.