Even if it is true that it’s harder for the brain to learn new skills as you age, some studies have demonstrated that taking on the challenge could improve your memory functions and brain health.
Indeed, a study on seniors between 60 and 90 years old who spent 3 months taking up hobbies, shows us that learning a new skill could improve memory. Participants were divided in three groups: one group was learning digital photography and quilting, one group was watching movies and one group was listening to the radio and playing games and puzzle. The first group had the most improved results regarding memory and received the most cognitive benefit.
Learning a new skill such as learning a new language, learning to play piano or to ride a bike can slow cognitive decline as you age and reduce the risk of of dementia by strengthening connections between different parts of the brain. Learning is an essential part of life and is something we should all seek to continue as we get older.
It is very beneficial to continue to challenge yourself to learn new things or to try new things. If you want to stay mentally sharp as you age, here is a list of the best activities you should consider:
- Learning a foreign language
- Learning to play a new instrument
- Learning a new technology (camera, photography, smartphone, etc).
- Solving enigmas or puzzle
- Cooking classes (involves all your senses)
- Drawing, painting class
- Following a class at University (mental stimulation and feeling of accomplishment)
Moreover, learning is a great way to meet new people and a great way to boost your self-esteem. You will feel stronger and more confident.