The Importance of Lifelong LearningJune 1, 2023
You know that old saw about teaching an old dog new tricks? Turns out that it is completely false. You not only can learn new skills at any age, but you should. Lifelong learning–the practice of learning new ideas and skills at every age–often gets presented as great career advice. But that’s a fairly narrow view of its results. Several important benefits of lifelong learning can also improve your overall health and quality of life.
So why is lifelong learning important? Let’s take a look at the research.
5 Reasons Why Lifelong Learning Is Important
- 1. Learning Slows Cognitive Decline
Research has shown two interesting connections between learning and Alzheimer’s disease. First, people with more education and career stimulation early in life are less likely to suffer cognitive decline. Second, it is never too late to reap the protective benefits of learning, as university attendance later in life also enhances cognitive functioning.
- 2. New Skills Improve Memory
Classroom learning is not the only way to stay sharp. There is also evidence that learning any new challenging skill helps improve memory by building more neural connections in the brain. The more pathways you have, the longer it takes the ravages of dementia to unravel those connections. Researchers suspect that the more challenging the skill, the bigger the benefits for your brain.
- 3. Learning Improves Mental Health
The UK’s Mental Health Foundation reports that community-based learning programs reduce depression and anxiety in older adults. This makes sense, since learning skills in a group setting keeps people engaged and motivated socially. Mastering a new skill also provides a boost to your self-esteem.
- 4. Group Activities Offer Social Connection
Whether you take a photography class or head out on a bird-watching excursion, learning with a group offers both mental and physical health benefits. Social connection lowers the risk for depression and suicide, and it also helps prevent certain physical ailments, including impaired immune system function.
- 5. Learning Is Fun
Let’s not forget the biggest reason for why lifelong learning is important: it’s enjoyable! When you retire, you finally have time to try all the things you couldn’t squeeze into your schedule before. If you have ever wanted to try a new sport, pick up a new craft, or dig into an interesting historical era, you can do it. At this stage in your life, you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to how you spend your days, so why not embrace something new?
Lifelong Learning at Pines Village
At Pines Village, we are committed to supporting your lifelong learning goals to provide you with the vibrant lifestyle you have always wanted. In our welcoming community you will find a full slate of educational classes and seminars covering a range of fascinating topics. If sitting in a classroom is not your thing, you can also explore personal training and wellness programs or schedule some “me” time in our art studio and woodshop to develop your creative skills.
Ready to continue your journey of learning at Pines Village? Get in touch to learn more about all we have to offer to keep you happy, healthy and engaged in the next phase of your life.