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Simple Tips to Commit to Being a Lifelong Learner

Category: 

Lifestyle Improvement

Posted On: Jan 29, 2016

Simple Tips to Commit to Being a Lifelong Learner

It’s been said that those who keep expanding their minds never really age. Research has shown that learning new things really does help people to keep their minds sharp as they age. Continual learning may even help prevent or delay dementia in some people. Think about how muscles become atrophied and lose their tone when they’re not being used. The brain can be thought of in the same way. If you keep learning and exercise your mind, your brain will stay in shape. These are all good reasons to keep looking for new ways to educate yourself about different things, but where should you start looking for opportunities to do so? Here are a few ideas to get your started.

Take an online course. Gone are the days of correspondence courses in which you have to mail your work to the instructor and wait for your grade to come back. The internet has allowed online learning to bloom, to the point where many colleges and universities allow students to earn degrees without ever setting foot in a classroom. But you don’t even need to pay to enjoy the online learning experience. Coursera.org is a free online learning hub that offers over 1500 courses from cooking to neurology, most completely free of charge.

Learn an instrument. Maybe you have lived your entire life thinking that you are not musically inclined. Well, even if you’re not a musical savant, you could find that trying out a new instrument is just what you need to give your mind a jumpstart. Because playing music involves a huge amount of coordination between your mind’s information processing centers and physical movement, it’s been said that playing an instrument is like giving your brain a full “body” workout. Start with something easy to pick up, like the guitar or piano. Sure, you won’t be a virtuoso, but you might learn enough at first to keep you going.

Join a book club. A book club is like a literature class, except that it is free and most probably incorporate more wine than most university courses. You probably won’t have to look too far to find a book club that you can join. Chances are that you have friends who are already part of a weekly or monthly book club. If you do have trouble finding one to join, you could look online for a virtual one somewhere like Facebook. Every book club is different, so don’t be afraid to shop around for a club that appeals to your interests.

Visit a historical site. In fact, visit as many as you can. The National Parks Service is a great place to begin your search. Chances are there is a park near you to visit. Park rangers are very knowledgeable about their parks and would be happy to answer any questions you might have. You might even consider volunteering at a nearby place of historical significance and become a subject matter expert yourself.