Learning a New Skill Can Improve Seniors’ Lives
Written by Karen Weeks
Growing older doesn’t mean that seniors should stop their desire to learn a new skill. Matter of fact, this is the best time to explore hidden talents. Lifelong learning can help seniors continue to live rich, fulfilling lives and have fun along the way.
When most people picture seniors practicing the martial arts, they imagine the slow, sedate movements associated with tai chi. But, in reality, older Americans are mastering a full range of defensive skills, according to the Wall Street Journal. Examples include:
- Taekwondo focuses on spectacular kicking techniques.
- Aikido teaches a variety of joint locking moves.
- Judo challenges an attacker’s weight and balance.
Don’t have a school near you? Get together with a group of fellow seniors and study via one of the many excellent web-based programs.
Eastern wisdom has officially met Western science, and the results are of interest to anyone who wants to enjoy greater focus, improved confidence and peace of mind. This is the verdict of numerous science based-studies that have looked at the benefits of meditation, as reported by Psychology Today.
One of the great things about meditating is that you can practice alone or as part of a group. Instructional materials are available for free or at very low-cost online. Or, if you prefer, you can connect with an instructor in your area and start building a stronger, more serene mind today.
The cognitive benefits of learning an instrument are far-reaching for seniors. Studies show that learning how to play an instrument can improve brain function, according to the article in National Geographic. Some of these improvements include:
- Increased gray and white matter. Learning music stimulates development in multiple regions of the mind, helping the learner to gain proficiency in a wide range of fields.
- Increased neural connections that can help to counter cognitive decline later in life. Musicians, as a group, stay sharper than their non-musician friends as both groups age.
- Enhanced hand-eye coordination. This translates into heightened ability to perform a wide range of manual skills throughout a person’s life.
In addition, you can find instructional videos online that will guide you from first picking up an instrument to learning advanced techniques. You can practice by yourself or as part of a group of fellow seniors. Who knows? You may find wealth and fame together!
We’ve only scratched the surface of things for seniors to do and learn. Other opportunities include clay modeling, dancing and exercise classes, to name just a few. So choose your passion and pursue it. In time, you’ll look back on the choice as one of the best decisions of your life.
About Karen Weeks and her website http://elderwellness.net/
Karen reached out to us to write a gust a blog post. We thought her perspectives would be great to share with our elder audience, so we agreed! We think it’s great that you’re sharing your knowledge with other and learning new things.
Here’s what she has to say, on her website:
After retirement, I was bored and struggled to find a new sense of purpose. So, I decided to learn a new skill. I took a computer course and learned how to build this website. Now, I try new things all the time. I believe nothing is off limits to seniors, and I want to spread the word!