If we are lucky, every 365 days we become a year older. If we are smart, we spend those 365 days a year making sure our body is healthy and active so that we maintain our quality of life. It seems obvious to exercise our body and eat right, but may it is not so obvious to exercise your brain!
As we age, we can lose cognitive ability; the ability to think as quickly as we once did starts to diminish over time. When humans are young, we are constantly learning. Our brains are in the best shapes of their lives. As we grow into young adults, the basics are built, but we continue on into school and our brains continue to get their daily workout.
Then, we get into a career and a routine, and our brains start to go on a semi-autopilot. There may be challenges to unravel in your job, but in many cases, it is much the same routine day in and day out. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t happy and fulfilled, but it does mean your brain, while still healthy, is no longer actively learning.
Just as we exercise and eat right to maintain our physical health, we can learn new skills that will help our brains stay active, healthy, and sharp as we age. Here is a list of five skills you can learn in your downtime to keep your brain at its best.
Keep Your Mind Sharp Skill #1: Learn a New Language
One of the best things about the major advancements in technology is that information is quite literally at our fingertips. There are apps on your phone that cost little to nothing at all that will help you to learn a new language. Something as simple as taking your dog for a walk in the evening and listening to lessons on your phone will help keep your mind and your body active. Use your time wisely in the car and put on the language app and learn on your commute.
You may find you really love learning a new language and want to take it further than just learning on your own. There are plenty of community colleges where you can take a language class to help you master your new skill.
Keep Your Mind Sharp Skill #2: Computer Skills
Just as the apps above can help you learn a new language, keeping up to date on your computer skills is as easy as downloading an app. There are also computer programs you can download that will teach you anything from how to write a business letter to spreadsheets to coding. Kids as young as elementary school now learn to code on computers, so regardless of your skill level, you can start to learn new computer skills.
Keep Your Mind Sharp Skill #3: Card Games
Obviously, we aren’t talking about playing Go Fish with your kids or grandkids here. Learn how to play Euchre or Gin Rummy or any number of card games that require you to strategize and think as you play. This helps to keep your brain engaged and working to solve a kind of puzzle.
Puzzles are also really great for the brain as well!
Playing card games has an added bonus of socializing, as most complicated card games are played in groups. Socializing as one grows older has been shown to keep the mind more active and engaged, as well as deterring dementia and Alzheimer's.
Keep Your Mind Sharp Skill #4: Golfing/Tennis
Learning to play golf or tennis, or any active sport as we age will keep the mind healthy and engaged. Just as card games have the added bonus of socializing, so too does learning to play golf or tennis. It also has the benefit of physical activity!
Physical activity is great for keeping the body healthy, but did you know that physical activity can also keep the mind healthy? It ensures the blood and oxygen continues to flow to the brain.
Keep Your Mind Sharp Skill #5: Knitting/Crochet/Cross-stitch
Learning how to knit, crochet or cross-stitch (or all three!) gives the brain a great boost and even as you continue to hone your craft, it exercises your brain as you learn new patterns, new stitches, and accomplish new projects
There are also studies that say learning to do these crafts can fight off depression.
If you’re looking for ways to keep your mind, body, and overall health at optimal levels as you age, call the doctors at South Orange Chiropractic Center, to see how they can keep you in good health and wellness. Our excellent customer service team is ready to make you an appointment today!