Why Learning New Skills Makes You Age Slower

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Everybody knows that learning is a great way for you to expand your mind. But what if we told you that it will also help you to stay young and healthy?

Everybody goes through life at the same pace and as they do so they age. This coming of old age is inevitable. This fact has been known for a long time. Hence, humans have spent years looking for a fountain of youth, a way to stay young and robust. But now studies show that it is actually plausible.

It has been discovered that learning of all things is the cure. It doesn’t keep you forever young but it will surely slow down the aging process. Let’s see how and why learning slows down aging.

Just like your body, your brain needs exercise

Your body is your best and most useful asset. Hence, it is your responsibility to take care of it through proper nutrition and exercise. Yet, many of us don’t do this and those who do, leave out the most important organ. Even if you do your push-ups, your crunches and work up quite the sweat at your swing class, all of it is for naught if you don’t exercise your brain.

The brain, being the most important organ in the body deserves your attention and it needs the exercise in order for it to stay healthy and young. This exercise is different from your normal work out though, this is a more intellectual one. Learning, it is the best workout for your brain. It activates your neurons and your neural pathways and keeps them functioning at full capacity. This will, in turn, lead to you being more energetic and young.

When you age your muscles become more and more frail and weak, hence there is the need for proper exercise to prevent this from happening. When you exercise, your muscles break down and are then built back up, but they come back stronger and denser and so they become more durable. So, the more you move your body the better your health becomes. The same rule applies to the brain too. The more you exercise your brain using new challenges and by learning new information and skills the longer the brain will remain healthy. The healthier your body becomes, the slower you will age.

Now that you know how exercising your brain slows down aging, you can learn how to exercise the brain.

How to Exercise Your Brain

Here are a few ways for you to exercise your brain.

Go back to school

Scientists have observed that new brain cell group can happen even in late adulthood. So, you can take this fact to heart by packing up your books and heading to school again. This can help to stimulate your brain and prompt the growth of brain cells through regular, scheduled and structured classes.

In most cases, adults do not return to schools to get diplomas or degrees. They go back to school and take multiple classes according to their interest so as to help them give their minds a keen focus. This focus is then maintained and used to keep the mental activity thriving. But the diplomas or degrees can be a good plus too.

Learning a second language

Learning a new language other than your mother tongue is another way for you to go. Research has shown that people who are bilingual or can speak and write two or more languages are less prone to brain diseases like dementia. The study also showed that people who were bilingual had better cognitive abilities. This was especially evident when they were compared to those who could not read/write multiple languages. These effects are seen in both people who learned their second language early and late in life indicate that age is not an obstacle to this.

So you can take up learning a new language in order to keep your brain active and to increase and sharpen your cognitive abilities.

Learning new and unfamiliar skills

A new study has shown that the learning of a mentally demanding skill can be helpful in keeping the brain active and in increasing the cognitive functions of the individual. Researchers believe that if you get out and do or learn something that is unfamiliar and mentally challenging the result will be broad stimulation both mentally and socially. It has also been observed that aging adults who engaged in learning new and productive skill improved their memories. These results were observed in individuals who engaged in learning skills like photography and candle making, which are skills which require active engagement. These skills also used the person’s working memory, long-term memory, and their cognitive processes and ended up improving them in the process.

So, now that you know both why and how you should learn something new, you can start learning. Go out into the world and learn a new and useful skill or a new language.

Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash



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