Part of healthy aging and leading a fulfilling life is remaining active and stimulating your mind. As individuals, the need to learn and engage in new areas of life does not disappear into retirement years.
“You learn something new every day if you pay attention.” – Ray LeBlond
From childhood through young adulthood, we were required to attend school and get an education in a formal setting, but the importance of learning lingers long after adolescence. The act of learning can take many different forms and does not call for a classroom or formal setting. Healthy aging through lifelong learning is about stimulating your mind and seeking knowledge continuously.
Silver Comet Village, a senior living community in Powder Springs, Georgia, is dedicated to cultivating an atmosphere in which individuals can grow and thrive. We believe in the importance of learning and keeping the mind active. To show you how important continuing education is to healthy aging, we have gathered four benefits that lifelong learning can provide.
1. Improves Cognitive Functioning
The fact that lifelong learning and continuous education can improve your cognitive functioning should come as no surprise. Research has shown that stimulating your brain helps slow the rate of age-related decline, and the act of learning something new naturally keeps your mind active. Engaging in mentally stimulating activities activates neurons in the brain. These neurons strengthen current pathways in the brain and replace the connections between neurons that are lost over time.
Frequent cognitive activity brought on by lifelong learning has been shown to lead to a less rapid decline in cognitive function. Science Daily shared a study that was conducted by the American Academy of Neurology finding that “a cognitively active person in old age was 2.6 times less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease than a cognitively inactive person in old age.”
2. Leads to Better Physical and Mental Health
Continuing education throughout your retirement years has been linked to reduced rates of depression and anxiety. In addition, the act of lifelong learning has shown to lower the risks of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, and asthma.
The reason for this is that learning, whether it is a physical skill or mental stimulation, can distract an individual from the stresses of everyday life. Just by reading for a short period of time, heart rates are slowed, and muscle tension is released, leading to lower blood pressure, improved cardiovascular health, and a boosted immune system. A study published by researchers at Harvard and Princeton found that one more year of education or learning increased the life expectancy of an individual by 0.18 years.
3. Provides Opportunities for Pursuing New Interests
If you are enjoying your retirement years, you are no longer balancing your hobbies or interests and career. You now have the time and freedom to pursue any interests or passions that you may have neglected during your working years. Learning and continuing education do not have to be about traditional subject matters. You have the power to decide what you want to learn about and spend your time doing.
Now is the perfect time to learn and grow. Encourage healthy aging by diving into something that you have always wanted to try or learn more about.
4. Offers a Sense of Purpose
A common concern for retirees is that once they no longer have to go to work every day, they will not know what to do. A significant aspect of their life was to further and gain success in their career. The key to overcoming this concern is to stay active. Lifelong learning provides individuals with purpose and can help to increase feelings of self-worth. When we have goals, we have a direction and something to work toward.
It is one of our priorities at Silver Comet Village to provide residents with many opportunities to explore new interests, engage in lifelong learning, and promote healthy aging. Through our activities and events that cater to a variety of interests, individuals can discover a new hobby or further their education in an already developed area of interest. Contact a member of our team for more information on our community or the services we offer the Powder Springs, Georgia, area!
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