One of the most pejorative things someone can say to you is: “you’re too old.” Yet doctors fall into this trap all the time. “You’re just getting old,” is second only to the favorite “it’s just in your mind” as a medical cop out. Too often treatment that would benefit someone for decades goes by the wayside because the doctor doesn’t pursue it further.
So what happens if you decide to ignore the naysayers and start training at 77? You might just end up like Olga Kotelko, who bypassed other athletes and kept right on going until her death at 95. Ms. Kotelko also lent us her brain to examine and they found that her brain did not seem as old as her age. Researchers looking at older patients found that: “the most physically active elderly volunteers, according to their activity tracker data, had better oxygenation and healthier patterns of brain activity than the more sedentary volunteers — especially in parts of the brain, including the hippocampus, that are known to be involved in improved memory and cognition.” (NYT article here)