If you’re looking for ways to ensure that your brain stays healthy and fit as you get older, the answer may be in the classroom. Many experts suggest continuing your education as a way to ensure that your brain stays healthy and fit at any age.
We’ve all heard the old adage; “use it or lose it”. Well, it seems that this statement is never truer than when discussing brain function. The more we use our brains, the healthier and fitter they’ll be. In fact, studies have shown that working our brains hard at any age can actually stimulate growth of new brain cells.
Classes and other forms of formal education stimulate key areas of the brain because we are striving to learn new information and commit it to memory. If tests are involved; so much the better, since you’ll likely work a little harder to try and retain the information.
Depending upon the area of study, different areas of the brain will be stimulated, but any act of learning new information will help improve your brain’s function, your memory and your overall brain fitness.
Confused about what sort of classes you should take? Well, unless you’re pursuing a degree, just choose whatever interests you. The subject matter isn’t as important as the sheer fact that you’re mastering a new skill. This need to commit information to memory and to your understanding is what keeps your brain fit.
If you’re not sure which types of classes you’d like to pursue, consider the following suggestions:
- Learn a new language
- Art classes
- Literature Classes or Book Clubs
- Cooking Classes
- Creative Writing Classes
- Computer or Software Classes
- Learn to play an instrument
- Learn a new sport like golf, tennis or racquetball
- Learn to fly a plane
The point is certainly not what class you take, but simply that you engage in some form of learning to keep your brain sharp. Choose an area in which you have interest and then develop that interest into a new skill. Once the classes are over, you can continue developing the new skills you’ve learned until you reach the level of expertise you desire, either by taking more classes, or by developing the skills on your own. Then, it might be time to move on to another area of exploration.
Maintaining your brain fitness and health as we get older requires work. A sedentary mind, just like a sedentary body, will get weaker and lose function. Keeping your mind active and sharp through lifelong learning is a great way to ensure that you enjoy life to the fullest at every age.