All of us know to exercise our bodies to keep fit, but how often do you consider exercising your brain? And which sort of exercise does it need anyway? What is the secret to mental agility?
Keeping mentally active will keep your brain in good shape. Getting older does not mean that you need to be forgetful!
Recent research into Alzheimer’s disease found that people who were less active between the ages of 20 and 60 years are almost 4 times more likely to develop the disease. The brain, like the rest of the body, needs to be kept active to keep healthy.
Now it’s been revealed that exercising your brain can keep it in shape also.
The study found that how you spend your leisure time can affect the health of your mind.
Leisure activities can be divided into –
Passive activities, which include watching TV, participating in social activities, and listening to music.
Intellectual activities are painting, reading, playing a musical instrument, woodworking.
Physical activities, for example, gardening, playing sport, working out at the gym, walking, jogging.
The only’action’ that the Alzheimer’s patients had performed more frequently than the control group was watching TV!
He said”A relative increase in the amount of time devoted to intellectual activities from early adulthood (ages 20-39) to mid-adulthood (ages 40-60) was associated with a substantial decrease in the likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s disease later in life.”
An intellectual or physical hobby stimulates the brain and may reduce neurodegeneration as seen in diseases like Alzheimer’s. So sitting watching the TV is not enough for your brain, you need to keep it active.
Lots of the finalists from the Learning in Later Life Campaign 2000 to find England’s oldest and most inspiring learners had painting and art as their hobby.
England’s Oldest Learner was Fred Moore who was then aged 107 years. Fred continued with art classes until he died at the age of 109. The director of his residential home said”Fred was a remarkable chap. He kept his memory, going back to the death of Queen Victoria, and always kept his great sense of humor.”
So it’s official then, learning a new hobby is good for you. Fancy learning how to paint? Painting can be done indoors and outdoors, as well as by yourself or in a group.
It is never too late to get started. Local night classes offer a range of options. Have a look on the web too.
Remember you can have a healthy mind and enjoy a hobby also. Don’t leave it until tomorrow, begin today!