Did you know your curiosity and love of learning are good for your mind and body? Research into senior health shows that the process of learning late in life offers big benefits, including improving memory, slowing cognitive decline, reducing depression and boosting self-esteem.
To enjoy these and other benefits of learning, it’s important to choose activities and hobbies that actually challenge you in some way. A study published in the journal Psychological Science showed that only participants who learned a new skill gained significant benefits. If you’re ready to explore learning opportunities as a way to improve your health, keep these suggestions from experts in mind.
To get the most out of lifelong learning:
- Choose fresh topics, ideas and experiences. If you’re in your comfort zone, you’re not learning.
- Challenge yourself. Do something that requires your sustained focus as well as time and effort to develop proficiency and understanding.
- Pick something you enjoy. Do you like astronomy, history or art? Have you always wanted to try photography or learn to ride a motorcycle? Choosing something you enjoy means you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
- Learn a new language or skill. They’re among the most effective ways to improve your brain health.
- Combine the mental and physical. Now you have more reasons than ever to learn to tango, try pickleball or take up tai chi. Challenging your mind and body at the same time offers even greater benefits for your brain.
- Share what you know. Consider sharing your knowledge or skill, either through teaching a class or mentoring a student.
- Add people. Whether you’re taking a group class, teaching others or discussing juicy plots in a book club, the interaction and socializing help your health.
- Do it often. Your brain benefits most when you’re actively using it. Be sure to mix in learning opportunities — big and small — all year long.
One of the best things seniors can do for mind and body — choose an engaging place to live that fosters learning.
At Beatitudes Campus, our senior living community in Phoenix, Arizona, you’ll find it’s easy to keep learning. You can pursue your interests, gain new knowledge, learn new skills and reap the benefits that come with it.
In fact, our entire community has been built on that very idea. From the beginning, our founders created Beatitudes Campus to reflect the vibrant learning and open, welcoming atmosphere of a college campus. With more than 100 programs and activities offered every month, you’ll discover learning happens organically and enjoyably all around you.
The heart of learning here is the Beatitudes Campus Center for Lifelong Learning. Emulating a traditional academic setting, the Lifelong Learners program features nearly two-dozen non-credit courses each semester held in spring, summer and fall.
The courses continually change but often include popular subjects such as astronomy, architecture, literature, history and foreign languages. In addition to learning about art, music and science, you can also build your skills with technology you use every day such as the internet, computers and tablets. Residents manage the program, choose the classes and print a course catalog every semester.
Beyond gaining new knowledge or learning a new skill, Beatitudes Campus’ classes encourage participants to explore and discuss topics and exchange ideas without the stress of tests and grades. This dynamic socializing offers a number of health benefits, including better physical health, a lower risk of dementia and possibly living longer. Evidence suggests that socializing is good for your brain health, according to Psychology Today. “People who connect with others generally perform better on tests of memory and other cognitive skills.”
Register for a class
The classes taught through the Beatitudes Campus Center for Lifelong Learning are open to prospective residents. We invite you to register for an upcoming class. It’s a great way to experience our academic atmosphere for yourself, and without obligation.
To register for a class or schedule a visit to hear more about how Beatitudes Campus fosters learning, simply give us a call at 602.833.1358 or contact us through our online form below.