English Listening-Can We Outsmart Ageing Ep 644

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📝 Author: Hilary

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💬 3810 words ▪️ ⏳ Reading Time 20 min

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No Old Minds, Just Unexercised Ones

Could the path to longevity be as simple as learning a new language? Is ageing: destiny or choice? Could socializing prevent dementia? Improve your English skills while exploring the fascinating world of 'Super Agers'. This engaging lesson improves your vocabulary and listening skills. Immerse yourself in an intriguing topic and make your English learning experience an intellectual adventure.

🎯 Discover the Secret of Fluent English & Healthy Aging! 🎯

Want to work on your English fluency AND learn the secrets of healthy aging? Our unique lesson reveals the intriguing connection between mastering a language and aging brilliantly! 💡

✅ With our lesson, you will:

  • Boost your English proficiency effortlessly 🗣️
  • Unravel the fascinating link between language learning and cognitive health 🧠
  • Equip yourself with insights from groundbreaking research on 'Super Agers' 👵🧓
  • Unleash the power of English while embracing a healthier aging process 👍

✔Lesson transcript: https://adeptenglish.com/lessons/english-listening-practice-meets-healthy-aging/

The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.
⭐ Plutarch, a Greek philosopher and historian.

Ready to take your English skills to the next level while unraveling the mysteries of longevity? Dive into this captivating lesson! You'll immerse yourself in fascinating research about 'Super Agers', people aging remarkably well.

Not only will you enrich your vocabulary with intriguing words, but you'll also improve your listening skills with the nuanced rhythms of real English speech. This isn't just an English lesson, it's an intellectual adventure! Are you curious about the secret lives of Super Agers? Do you want to learn while expanding your English skills? Let's get started!

Learning never exhausts the mind.
⭐ Leonardo da Vinci

Join us now and transform your English learning journey into a powerful tool for better aging. Dive into the exciting world of language and longevity. 🏊‍♂️ Your brilliant future awaits! 🌟

More About This Lesson

Welcome, English explorers and life-long learners! Are you challenging your brain enough to keep it young? Embrace a fresh, intriguing approach to learning British English that engages your mind and promotes healthier aging. In this English lesson, we weave together language learning with fascinating insights about 'Super Agers', individuals aging extraordinarily well, to help you age gracefully while improving your English skills. This unique approach isn't just an English lesson - it's a journey towards a vibrant mind and youthful aging.

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.
⭐ Helen Keller, American author.

Things you will learn listening to this English lesson:

  1. Learn the meaning and usage of 'Super Ager' in context.
  2. Discover the use of expressions like 'on the ball' and 'switched on'.
  3. Understand how to use the word 'cognitive' in sentences.
  4. Master the pronunciation and meaning of 'consensus'.
  5. Improve your understanding of words like 'dementia' and 'neurons'.
  6. Learn to use phrases like 'use it or lose it' in context.
  7. Get to know how to use 'donate' in different contexts.
  8. Practice advanced English with a quote from Dr. David Bennett.
  9. Learn the usage of words like 'pathology' in a medical context.
  10. Understand the usage of the word 'fast' as a verb and not just an adjective.

Benefits of our listen & learn approach to learning

  1. Simplifying complex ideas: Fear not, we make complex English concepts easily digestible, helping you grasp and use them effortlessly.
  2. Building fluency: Our lessons are designed to enhance your English speaking skills, and with regular practice, you'll soon find yourself speaking English fluently.
  3. Boosting brain health: Our lesson not only teaches English but also provides methods to keep your brain healthy as you age.
  4. Forming beneficial habits: We slowly introduce new, healthy habits, making it easier for you to adopt them and integrate them into your daily life.
  5. Progress assurance: Though learning might seem slow at times, remember that each effort you put into learning English and maintaining brain health takes you a step forward.

Some of the facts and research that went into this lesson

  • Bilingualism enhances cognitive abilities: Studies suggest that bilingual individuals perform better on cognitive tasks, contributing to healthier aging.
  • Language learning delays dementia: Research indicates that learning a new language can postpone the onset of dementia.
  • Mental exercise: Learning a new language, such as British English, stimulates the brain, maintaining its functionality and health as we age.
The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
⭐ Nelson Mandela

Don't let the misconception that language learning is too challenging or unproductive hold you back. Our lessons illustrate how learning British English at any age can enhance memory, boost overall brain health, and promote healthy aging. Moreover, it's not only about learning a new language but also about harnessing your brain's potential for a healthier, more agile mind.

So why wait? Unleash your English potential! Dive into fluency while unveiling the secrets of 'Super Agers'. Embrace this exciting journey towards improved English skills and better brain health. Join us now, follow, and subscribe!

Questions You Might Have...

Learning English while understanding how to keep your brain healthy is like nurturing a vibrant garden. Each new word you learn is a seed planted, and each brain-healthy habit you adopt is like the sunlight, water, and rich soil that allows your garden to flourish. The more seeds you plant and care for, the more beautiful and plentiful your garden becomes, echoing with the colourful symphony of nature's resilience.

  1. Can learning English really help with healthy aging? Absolutely! Studies show that learning a new language, like British English, can stimulate your brain and contribute to cognitive health. This English fluency lesson focuses on not just language learning, but also mental agility for healthy aging.
  2. How does this lesson help me improve my British English fluency? This lesson is designed with methods that help you understand and speak British English more fluently. You'll practice mostly listening and some reading skills with an emphasis on real-world contexts.
  3. I'm a beginner, can I still benefit from this lesson? Definitely! This lesson is structured to cater to all levels of English learners. The lessons are designed to be engaging and intuitive, which makes them accessible for beginners.
  4. What is the duration of this lesson? This depends on your pace of learning and how much time you can dedicate to the lesson daily. It's designed to be flexible and accommodating to your schedule.
  5. Can I take this lesson if English is my second language? Yes, absolutely. This lesson is designed primarily for those for whom English is a second language. As you learn and practice British English, you'll also be helping your brain stay healthy and agile.

Most Unusual Words:

  • Cognitive: Related to thinking and understanding.
  • Dementia: A disease that causes memory loss, usually in older people.
  • Neurons: Nerve cells that send messages in the brain.
  • Consensus: General agreement among a group of people.
  • Pathology: The study of diseases and the changes that they cause.
  • Autopsy: Examination of a dead body to find the cause of death.
  • Monk: A man who lives in a religious community and devotes his life to prayer.
  • Nun: A woman who lives in a religious community and devotes her life to prayer.
  • Fasting: The act of not eating food for a period of time, usually for religious reasons.
  • Longevity: Living a long life.

Most Frequently Used Words:


Listen To The Audio Lesson Now

The mp3 audio and pdf transcript for this lesson is now part of the Adept English back catalogue . You can still download and listen to this lesson as part of one of our podcast bundles.

Transcript: English Listening-Can We Outsmart Ageing

Would you like to be a 'Super Ager', living a rich life full of mental vigour, no matter how many candles are on your birthday cake?

Hi there. Today let’s talk about a topic of interest to anyone who wants to live a long time. We often say in English ‘Age is just a number’, but what if I told you it's actually the quality of the years that matters more than the number itself? What if I told you that turning 80, 90, or even 100 doesn't necessarily mean your brain health has to decline? What if the key to a youthful old age is not just about genetics or genes, but something more within your control? Are you curious to know more? Listen on!

And stick around until the end of this video where we'll look at an extraordinary study involving a group of nuns, NUNS. It's a story that not only gives us insight into the mysteries of the brain but also uncovers surprising truths about what might protect our brains in old age. You won't want to miss it, especially if you're serious about understanding how to maintain your brain's health as you age."

Some 80 and 90 year olds are more like 50 and 60 year olds!

Research is discovering that the brains of some 80 and 90 year olds are comparable to those of people in their 50s or 60s. Clearly we’d all like to be THOSE 80 and 90 year olds, so what are they doing that’s different? Fascinated? Let's take a dive into the world of 'Super Agers' to explore this further. In this video, you’ll get all that wonderful information - and plenty of research to follow up yourself - while at the same time, working on your English language learning! What could be better than that?!

Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.

So an article in ‘Discover’ magazine, published in May 2023 was entitled ‘How to Become a Super Ager’. An ‘ager’, AGER is a made up word here, really - but the term ‘Super Ager’ means someone who is ‘ageing well’, ‘ageing in a superior way’! If you ask people whether they want to live to an old age, live a long time - most people will reply ‘Yes, as long as I’m healthy’. Nobody wants to live a bad old age, do they? And most people would want to be not just physically healthy, but they would also want their brain, their mind to be healthy and working well too. So, you might be wondering, who exactly are these 'Super Agers' that scientists are studying, who are doing ageing really well? What’s different about them? And why do their brains behave as though they’re 20 or 30 years younger? The criteria defined for ‘a Super Ager’ is someone over 80, who has the ‘cognitive health’ of someone of 50 or 60 years old. The word ‘cognitive’, COGNITIVE means ‘related to conscious thinking’. If you talk about someone’s ‘cognitive abilities’, it means ‘their ability to think well’. So we’re talking about people of 80 years old or more, who are still ‘on the ball’ as we say in English, ‘switched on’. Both those phrases mean ‘they’re still great at thinking’.

Dementia is a terrible disease - the opposite of brain health

And you might say that the opposite of someone who’s ageing well cognitively is someone who has dementia, DEMENTIA. That’s a disease like Alzheimer’s. You may know someone with this disease or perhaps have known an older family member like this. Dementia is a terrible disease, where the person loses their personality, forgets things - and bit by bit becomes ‘not themselves’. Cognitive abilities are destroyed gradually by dementia. Nobody wants that disease.

Boost Your Learning With Adept English

So some research from the Northwestern University’s Super Ageing Research Program in the US. Let’s delve into it. This particular research identified that ‘super agers’ had bigger neurons, that’s NEURONS or ‘brain cells’, in the area of their brain which is concerned with memory, awareness of time, navigation in space - how to find your way around, in other words. And of course these are precisely the functions of the brain that deteriorate in someone with dementia or poor brain health. It’s really clear to anyone who’s had a family member with dementia. The other area of the brain which seemed to be different in ‘super agers’ was the area concerned with social interaction, with talking with and being with other people. It makes sense - often what elderly people lack is social interaction and most do much better when they live in a situation where there is lots of social interaction. And much less well in situations where they live alone and spend a lot of time alone - as often happens to people in western societies.


An AI image of a 100 year old nun full of wisdom. Want to age healthily while improving your English? Discover our unique lesson. Join us on Spotify, YouTube.

©️ Adept English 2023

Exercise and mental challenges help!

But why do some people have bigger or more neurons in these areas of the brain? What seems to be a consensus - that’s CONSENSUS - and this noun means ‘an area of broad agreement’ - what seems to be the consensus, is that physical activity is really important. You don’t have to be running marathons, or even running at all - or going to the gym. But the study found that these ‘switched-on’ 80 year olds were physically active in some way. What also seems to be important too is doing ‘mentally challenging things’ - doing things with your brain that aren’t particularly easy or activities that you’ve not done before. That could of course be learning a new language - or learning a new skill of any kind and sticking with it when it gets difficult. I think the old idea of the brain being ‘like a muscle’ is a good one. A ‘muscle’ - MUSCLE - we have these all over our bodies, in our arms and legs and they’re what give us strength and enable us to move our bodies. If you work out at the gym, you probably work to exercise and ‘build your muscles’. And the saying is ‘Use it or lose it’ with muscles - and it’s the same for your brain, it seems. If you use your brain and challenge yourself, you’ll keep more of your cognitive function when you’re older.

Listening Lessons

What about genetics?

So it seems that super agers have better brain health in part because of their behaviour. They do physical exercise, they do social interaction and they challenge themselves mentally. That means they ‘challenge their minds’. They try to learn new things and things which aren’t easy or familiar. Are there other factors at work here? Surely genetics - your genes, GENES must be a factor too? Sometimes ageing well and living to an old age does run in families - suggesting there are genetics involved. Dr Valter Longo is Director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California. ‘Longevity’ means ‘old age’ - so this is another university studying the science of ageing. Dr Longo says that although genetics are a factor - sometimes ageing well and living to an old age does run in families - it probably only accounts for 20-30% of the reason why some people live well into their old age.

And diet and fasting?

Dr Valter Longo is well-known for his work on how diet and also on how ‘fasting’ can positively affect health. The verb ‘to fast’, FAST means ‘to go without food for a period of time’. Perhaps that’s a podcast for another time, but there are many, many people discussing how diet and food and fasting really affect your health, your long-term health and the likelihood that you will have a good old age - maybe even be a super ager! So genetics and a healthy diet are clearly factors as well.

The ‘Nun Study’ which became ‘The Religious Orders Study’

One of the most fascinating long-term studies of ageing and behaviour is the so-called ‘Nun Study’, NUN. This piece of research began in 1986 when Dr David Snowden asked a group of nuns, the School Sisters of Notre Dame to take part in a study on the ageing brain. A ‘nun’, NUN is a woman who gives her life over to the service of the Catholic Christian church - that’s ‘Catholic’, CATHOLIC and that’s the church for which the Pope is head. If a man devotes his life like this - he is called a ‘monk’, MONK. Nuns and monks agree to join a group of other nuns or monks and live their lives in a community, serving other people. This study eventually became known as ‘The Religious Orders Study’ as it expanded - so ‘monks’ and ‘nuns’ are said to belong to ‘religious orders’.

Dr Snowden wanted to study the effects of lifestyle on ageing - ‘lifestyle’ means ‘how you live’ - with particular reference to dementia and Alzheimer’s. Dr Snowden managed to persuade 66% of the nuns of the School Sisters of Notre Dame to take part in his study and this meant collecting lots of information about their lives. The nuns also promised to give, to donate, DONATE their brains to the research projects, after they died. So over 600 nuns agreed to take part. And the great thing about this group from the point of view of a research study - their diet and lifestyle was pretty standard, as they lived in similar types of settings - communities of other nuns. They ate similar food and they had similar lifestyles.

One of the really interesting findings of this study - when the nuns died and their brains were donated to the research and examined, many were found to have the physical brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s, yet the nuns did not show symptoms of the disease when they were alive. It seems that remaining active and socially involved was protective. All of the nuns worked, Even the very old nuns did some kind of work, doing what they were able - and nobody spent a lot of time alone, unless they wanted to. It seems as though living in this type of environment, still feeling meaningful and having social interaction with other people - was protective and helped protect the nun’s cognitive ability, even when there were physical changes in the brain.

Practice at more advanced English?

Just to give you some practice at more advanced English, here’s a quote from Dr David Bennett, at Rush University Chicago, who also led this project:-

“In their autopsy samples, the researchers found that half of the people with no cognitive troubles had signs of brain pathology,’ (that’s PATHOLOGY and means ‘disease’). ‘And one third met the pathologic threshold for Alzheimer’s disease. In other words, they found widespread disease in the brains of the deceased - but these pathologies only accounted for about half of an individual’s likelihood of cognitive decline.”

Download The Podcast Audio & Transcript

If you’re interested to read more, then follow the link in the transcript on our website at adeptenglish.com for the Rush University Project.

There’s a lot more to say on this, of course - particularly on diet as that is also a big factor. But I find it interesting that physical exercise, social interaction and challenging your brain are the best behaviours, the best activities for ensuring ongoing brain health and that they can perhaps delay diseases like Alzheimer’s.


Tell us what you think!

Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at adeptenglish.com




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