Most of us know the importance of exercise to keep our bodies in healthy physical shape. But how often do you think about exercising your mind?
As we age, it’s essential to keep our minds in good health to prevent memory loss and other signs of degeneration. “Use it or lose it” is a common saying about brainpower for a reason.
We strengthen our neural pathways when we repeatedly work our brains through puzzles, challenging reading materials, and other mental stimulation.
Luckily, there are many excellent, accessible steps everyone can take to keep the mind strong and active.
1. Pursue Lifelong Learning
Continuing to learn new things throughout the life cycle keeps the mind active. Maintaining curiosity about various topics and constantly challenging yourself to try new things promotes mental elasticity.
While we often think of training as related to starting a new job, workers benefit from continuous learning at all levels and ages. Learn to Win capitalizes on continuous learning by enabling workers to deepen their knowledge through self-directed, digital training and gamification.
Many local colleges and universities have programs through which older senior adults can take college courses. These can be an excellent opportunity for seniors to practice a new skill or challenge themselves to learn more.
2. Stay Organized
The more you can dedicate your mental activity to serious challenges, the more you can grow your abilities. Spending a lot of mental energy (and stress!) on trying to remember where your keys are, for example, does not constitute a profound challenge for your brain.
Use tools to keep yourself organized, like calendars, planners, and dedicated spots for possessions you’re most likely to misplace. Once you get into a habit of using them, organizational tools can help you use your time more efficiently and free up more opportunities for mental stimulation.
3. Join a Club
Humans are, by nature, social creatures. It’s no surprise that we rely heavily on social activity to learn and keep our minds active.
Studies show a strong relationship between social activities and cognitive functioning. A straightforward way to introduce more socialization into your life is to join an affinity group like an outdoors club, book club, or religious group. It’s not just having friends to talk to that keeps the mind sharp but also the sense of responsibility.
4. Get Out the Puzzles
While most people think of them as simply recreational, puzzles of all kinds are great brain boosters. Jigsaw puzzles can reduce stress and improve memory function.
Word games, like crossword puzzles and word searches, are also a great choice. Any game that engages your mind will likely support an active, healthy mind.
Aging presents a unique challenge: how to keep our minds strong. You can promote lifelong mental acuity through continuous learning, no matter your age.
Learning a new language, discussing current events with friends, and completing the latest crossword puzzle are great ways to grow our abilities. Luckily, these are all great ways to relax and unwind, too.
Try something new! Your brain will thank you.
Photo is from pixabay
Guest Author Bio
Russell is an ex-Marketing Journalist. He lives in Utah with his family and is a keen aviation enthusiast in his spare time.