When you are young, it’s hard to imagine ever being old. Sure, you see elderly people around you who are physically frail and mentally unsound. You know it is possible. But you are convinced it will never happen to you.
This mindset continues for decades, until suddenly you realise that all those people who told you to eat right and exercise were right. It’s never too late to adopt healthy habits – but it’s a lot harder later in life than it is in your 20s.
Don’t let that be you. Take care of yourself now, when you have the rest of your life ahead of you and few health problems. This goes for both physical health and mental health – That’s why is really important to learn a new skill all the time.
Since 1986, there has been a continuous study done on a group of nuns who are members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. These nuns are remarkable because despite their advanced age, they remain mentally agile well into their 90s and even their centenarian years. One major reason for their mental agility? These nuns are lifelong learners, always studying new skills.
Other studies, too, have shown that learning a new skill later in life can help ward off dementia. Learning anything strengthens neural connections in the brain, but learning a challenging skill strengthens whole networks instead of singular connections. And it’s just like exercise. Starting young allows you to create and strengthen that fit mental base, making it harder to deteriorate as the years go by.
So this week, think of a new skill and take a step towards mastering it – for example you can:
- Learn how to cook
- Learn a new language
- Public Speaking
- How to read faster
- How to improve your memory
- Learn to code
- Play an instrument
- Learn to paint
- Learn how to use a new software
Don’t forget to continue learning other skills even once you’ve mastered that one. The more you learn, the fitter your brain will be!