‘Health Club for the Brain’: Surprising Health Benefits of Lifelong Learning

Tips and resources to add to your senior care plan

Education, like sparked living, is an ageless opportunity. Have you ever thought about going back to school or taking a class? The modern day classroom for lifelong learners may surprise you – it’s not just for the young seeking a degree. It’s for those thirsty to expand their minds and contribute their wisdom to change the world.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, almost half of the adult population in the United States are enrolled in some form of lifelong learning. Maybe it’s not literally going back to school but lifelong learning is an important part of keeping your cognitive functions sharp, increasing wellbeing, and connecting you in powerful ways to the things that spark your interest. But it also has some surprising health benefits too.

Dr. Paul Nussbaum, Director of the Aging Research and Education Center in Pittsburgh, PA said, “every time your heart beats, 25% of that blood goes right to the brain. While exercise is critical, it may be education is more important. In the 21st century, education and information may become for the brain what exercise is for the heart. Lifelong learning, then, is like a health club for the brain.”

How can you engage in lifelong learning? Try a few of these ideas:

  • Online courses – many colleges now offer online degrees that you can participate in right from the comfort of your own home. Is there something you’re specifically interested in – learning a new language, a writing course or history?
  • Re-discover your passions – art classes, dancing, yoga or cooking. What are some hobbies that you used to enjoy? Share some ideas on paper to get you thinking.
  • Join a group – Explore opportunities about local groups or classes you’d like to join like a book club, knitting group, senior hockey leagues, or golf leagues. Need more resources? Call Lifesprk Navigation for local options.
  • Learn something new – get connected with family by learning how to use email or even social media like Facebook.
  • Mentoring younger adults or reading to children – Consider connecting to your community through the local library, they always need your wisdom and support.

Senior care is more than just nurses and caregivers. Your senior care plan should include whatever sparks your life – for some of our clients that’s seeking opportunities for lifelong learning. Not sure where to start? Talk to our Navigation team, they can help you get started with this and many other ideas to keep your goals and health in check.

Educate On!

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