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Keep Learning All The Time

Learning has a lot of psychological and cognitive benefits.

When was the last time you learned something new? This question encompasses reading books on a topic as much as it does taking a class in a traditional classroom. One thing people who stay young at heart tend to share is that they are lifetime learners.

They are always learning something new.

Learning keeps your mind active and engaged. Your memory and processing skills stay sharp when you use them regularly. Mental muscles need exercise just like physical ones do. Studies have proven that lifetime learning staves off dementia and other forms of mental decline in older adults.

Before you run out to go back to school (or dismiss the idea because school was never your thing), stop to consider that there is more than one type of learning.

Academic learning is one, yes, and you have plenty of options for that.

Have you ever considered learning new practical skills? They count too. Changing your oil, refinishing furniture, gourmet cooking, and preparing taxes are all things you can learn.

Other things you can learn that might not seem so obvious at first range from fishing to gardening to sewing. If it’s something new and takes effort and practice to learn, it counts as learning.

How do you go about learning these things? You can go the solitary, do-it-yourself route with books and instructional videos. The internet is great for finding instructions for doing just about anything.

You can also join local groups or clubs dedicated to whatever it is you want to learn. Most sewing circles and fishing clubs, as just a couple of examples, will be happy to teach you when you join.

Finally, you can also take formal classes in almost any subject. Professional organizations offer classes on many topics. Your local lifetime learning institute, community college, and/or senior center probably offers a variety of classes on both academic and practical subjects targeted at seniors.

These classes are taught by experienced instructors and are usually inexpensive, sometimes even free.

The most important thing is not what you learn or how you learn. It’s that you learn, period. This is what will keep you young.

Pick something you need or want to learn and set about learning it. When you finish with that topic, move on to something else.

No matter how long you live, you’ll never run out of topics. Learning isn’t just for the young!