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Thinking in the spring

Those 50 plus can register for classes at SU's Lifelong Learning Institute:

It's March in CNY, beside the madness, this can be a particularly dull time of year. But now there is a great resource for those 50 years and older. Consider a voyage through Syracuse University's Lifelong Learning Institute. This was founded in 2008 through the University Gerontology Center at SU's Maxwell School. One of its many facets is to offer non-credit classes specially designed for adults age 50 and older.

Research shows that older adults who participate in meaningful activities enjoy better mental, physical, social and economic health and an ongoing desire for learning.

"These courses are good for physical health, mental health and cognitive health," said Madonna Harrington Meyer, the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Sociology and a senior research associate, at the Center for Policy Research SU's Maxwell School.

She added that mental Health is your emotional health -- your mood, whether you are happy, it can affect your energy, and the healthy one is the more integrated he or she will be in society. Where as cognitive health is your intellectual ability -- as we age people start to slow down, the more we use our brains, the better it is -- this intellectual activity helps stimulate your brain.

Course details

The Lifelong Learning classes, are taught by SU faculty. These are short (16 contact hours) and intensive, but informal--there are no grades. Almost all have free, convenient parking and accessible facilities.

"There are no tests, no grades, no exams but there is homework," Harrington Said "we want you to know you are in college."

Each class also has a community engagement focus -- for example the class on polar exploration will also meet at the zoo to work hands on with the penguins -- a species of animal indigenous to that area.

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