Any muscle that’s not used becomes stagnant. The brain, being one of the most largest and the most essential, will decay if not put into active activity as we age. The key becomes to maximize our brain activity as much as possible for ultimate longevity.
The best possible way to do so is by keeping our minds functional and engaged during our leisure time, this by doing “think” provoking activities that we enjoy doing. The ones which challenges us while being fun, so we’ll want to participate and do them often.
As we begin to age, what most of us wants and begins to get is more passive, wanting to relax more, this for a life well worn. As a result, our bodies and minds become more static when it should be activated.
There’s mounting evidence that participating in activities which forces us to think more than we usually do, keeps the health of the brain in better shape. Those who carry engaged lives do better on cognitive tests than those who remain neutral.
What’s encouraging is that these same individuals aren’t as likely to develop memory related issues such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Improving Cognitive Function
There are no instant solutions when it comes to picking the activities to participate in, this when it comes to a varied engaged lifestyle. The most important being that it should be novel, that you learn something new that’s challenging.
It becomes important that the activity forces you to think. Leisure activities to participate in which provides this type of engagement are limitless, the key being forcing yourself to do something.
Extracting Your Creativity
Dwell back into your younger life and pick interests which you once enjoyed. This could be writing, painting, or relearning a musical instrument that you’ve once played.
Sign up for classes to learn how to draw, paint, or sculpt. Take cooking classes to learn gourmet. Join a local theater group and then direct or act in a play. Start a blog, write essays or poems.
Learn A New Hobby
Are there activities that you’ve always had an interest in and wanted to learn. You could learn how to carve wood or wax sculptures, build model airplanes, learn how to sew.
Join a reading group or a book club and participate in discussing the latest best sellers. Buy a scrapbook making kit and then organize all those photos that you’ve been taking. Post them online. Take homemade beer or wine making classes.
Join a club or join up with a group of friends to play card or board games which requires memory management and strategic thinking, such as chess, poker, or backgammon.
Explore Different Cultures
You can experience diversity right outside your door, around the block, or a world away. You may want to explore the world by traveling, discovering new places, learn about unfamiliar cultures and food.
You could do this closer to home, discovering local tourist attractions or attending the various ethnic events and festivals. Regularly attend the symphony, theater, the opera. Visit historical sites and museums, the library.
Witness Life In Different Ways
If you already have favorite things to do, then approach them differently, making them into more challenging activities. If you enjoy cooking, then search for new recipes online, develop something completely unique.
Find new and different alternate routes to get to your destination, those familiar places by using different streets or different modes of transportation. Diversify by using the subway or the seabus from time to time.
Have Fun Learning Something New
Dedicate yourself to learn how to play games of logic, such as Sudoku or crosswords. Sudoku for some can seem intimidating, so begin with the easiest level and then progress up.
Once you master the basics of the puzzle, then move on to more difficult variations such as Kakuro or Hypersudoku, or the New York Times Crosswords, so that you’re constantly learning newer more difficult strategies.
If you’re inclined athletically, think about participating in a new sport which you’ve never played before. Begin taking classes or find a partner to learn and play squash, curling, or bowling.
Decide to take night classes or pick up a self-study course from the bookstore or online to learn or reacquaint yourself with a new academic topic, one that you enjoyed in school.
Read up and learn the rules of a completely new sport which is completely foreign to you, then attend a game live in person. Think of completely new and different abstract topics and then research them on the internet.
Challenge Yourself To Learn Something Ultimate
The best way to engage your brain to keep it active is by taking full advantage of formal learning. Sign up and volunteer at your local library or school, or at a community center.
Learn how to speak a brand new language, or brush up on one which you once used to know. Make it a personal challenge to learn something new that’s completely complex to you, one you’ve always had an interest in, but never had the opportunity to do.
Make Sure You Have Fun
The advantage of having a completely engaged lifestyle as we grow older is that you have the freedom to choose the right activity for you. Engagement and interest is found to be the key, this because if it doesn’t get your juices going, you won’t spend much time doing it, and you’ll get bored quickly.
The best thing to do is just start, to get out there, begin exploring new and unique ideas, events, and activities. Make sure that you choose different methods which activates your brain.