“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.“–Henry Ford
You know the secrets to living a longer, healthier life: quit smoking, eat a healthy diet, get your beauty sleep, and exercise. But did you also know that exercising your mind is just as important as exercising your body? Exercising your mind will keep you young, keep your memory sharp, and even help ward off Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, and strokes.
“When you challenge the brain, you increase the number of brain cells and the number of connections between those cells,” says Keith L. Black, M.D., chair of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. ‘But it’s not enough to do the things you routinely do — like the daily crossword. You have to learn new things, like sudoku or a new form of bridge.” (From Beth Howard’s article for AARP The Magazine | Feb./Mar. 2012 issue.)
There are all kinds of ways to challenge your brain. Jack Tatar in his book, Safe 4 Retirement: The 4 Keys to a Safe Retirement, offers several suggestions for exercising your mind:
- Take a class.
- Turn off the television unless you’re watching a documentary.
- Talk to people with an open mind. Remember to listen, listen, listen.
- You know what to do. Just go out and do it!
Another way to challenge your brain is to learn to do something in a new way. Deliberately changing how you do something that you have been in the habit of doing one way for years and doing it a new way really excercises those brain connections. Our speed reading course does just that. Going from deliberately seeing and saying one to three words at a time to seeing paragrahs all at once and thinking concepts and ideas is definitely changing a habit! It’s challenging–but doable. It also covers all five of these suggestions listed above: You’ll be taking a class, reading –not watching t.v., talking to new people, and we’ll get you to trust yourself enough to just do it! This is a great way to excercise your brain and keep it young if you are retired. You’ll get to read all those things that you’ve wanted to read for years. It’s also a great way to excercise your brain and to keep learning no matter what age you are–and to keep your mind agile and used to challanges for your career and/or education. Here’s to staying young and continuing to learn!
Judith Barker and Bonnie James