If this column seems a bit iffy, feel free to blame it on my lack of exercise.
That’s right. A new study has found that moderate exercise for people my age — which is to say, too young to retire, too old to … never mind — can improve not only physical but also intellectual health.
Typically, scientists say, people’s brains start to shrink gradually after about age 50. But in those who took a brisk walk three times a week, not only was this trend reversed, but their brains actually grew.
So there you have it. After being cooped up in my house for two of the last four weeks, while Atlanta was transformed inexplicably into a suburb of Cleveland, I have probably started to experience some brain shrinkage. Insert your own punch line here.
Loss of gray matter aside, I actually enjoyed those days when I had nowhere to go and nothing to do for the simple reason that, not owning a four-wheel drive or a snowmobile, I wasn’t able to go anywhere or do anything. I know the snow days were inconvenient for some, but they were great for me — and, after all, isn’t that what’s really important?
The only drawback was the power outages. Not that I lost power. Few people in my area did, and that was precisely the problem. My Internet service was so slow, as 5 million snowbound Atlantans swarmed the ether, that I kept thinking I must have accidentally logged onto Healthcare.gov. My Netflix signal was interrupted more than Miley Cyrus’s psycho-social development.
So yes, I enjoyed those snow days, but I probably would have enjoyed them even more if a couple hundred thousand additional people in my immediate area — but not me — had been without power.
(Yes, I know. Karma’s a you-know-what. Next time it snows — which, if the pattern holds, will be day after tomorrow — I’ll be without power for a week while the rest of you stream five seasons of “The Walking Dead” in warmth and comfort.)
Speaking of the walking dead, I heard a radio commercial the other day that still has me scratching my head. It was for a financial planner whose specialty is helping people plan for retirement. Specifically, he guarantees that you “will not outlive your savings.”
Really? How can he possibly know that? Unless, of course, when your money’s all gone, he just sends Rocky and Vinnie over to your house with a large bucket and a bag of cement.
And finally, I’d like to respond publicly to one of my readers, who wrote last week to object to my suggestion that President Obama has helped to foster a culture of narcissism. “Is there anything you don’t blame this president for?” he/she wanted to know.
Why, yes, there is. I don’t blame this president for bad weather. Like everyone else, I blame George W. Bush for that. And maybe Nathan Deal.
Rob Jenkins is a local freelance writer and the author of Family Man: The Art of Surviving Domestic Tranquility, available at Books for Less and on Amazon. E-mail Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @FamilyManRob.