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A healthy brain can lessen cognitive decline as you age, which can prevent the onset of health conditions such as dementia or balance impairment. This is why it’s important to exercise your brain as much as the rest of your body.

One way to do this is through continued education throughout your adult life. Research shows that a simulated brain may have long-term benefits for your health. You can stimulate your brain through continued education experiences at any age. Some of the benefits are:   

  • Helping you develop natural abilities
  • Opening our mind to other points of view
  • Providing wisdom of the what’s and why’s of previous successes and failures
  • Allowing you to give back to your community
  • Helping you adapt to change
  • Finding meaning in your life
  • Making connections with new people
  • Enriching your self-fulfillment
  • Increasing confidence

17 April TKS Lifelong Learning

Information and knowledge change every day, so it’s important to continue your learning to keep your brain engaged. There are three different kinds of learning that are vital in staying ‘brain fit.’

Maintenance Learning

Maintenance learning helps you keep up with the trends in a topic, without increasing your understanding of a topic on a deeper level which adds to your education. Examples are:

  • Making yourself aware of current real estate prices in your neighborhood
  • Regularly reviewing insurance statements to see what is covered and what you have paid out of pocket
  • Subscribing to a daily newsletter for updates on current events

Growth Learning

Growth learning adds knowledge and skills that you didn’t have before. Examples are:

  • Joining a book club or listening to a new podcast 
  • Volunteering for projects that involve skills you don’t typically use
  • Signing up for a free online course

Many public libraries across the country offer online learning opportunities from higher education institutions. Check your local library’s website to determine if those opportunities are available in your area.

Shock Learning

Shock learning can be thought of as the act of trial and error. The ‘shock’ is experienced when you learn something that contradicts knowledge or understanding that you already have. Examples are:

  • Traveling to a foreign country and interacting with the natives who do not speak your language
  • Searching how an item you use regularly was made or invented

The main benefit comes from keeping your brain active—whether it’s reading a book or learning a new hobby or trade. Your ability to expand your mind and strive for lifelong learning is critical to your success.