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The Best Activities That Help Keep Your Mind Sharp in Retirement

As you age, staying mentally active is key to keeping your mind sharp into the golden years. While dementia cannot be avoided entirely, engaging in brain-stimulating activities and sticking to routines are great ways of reducing risk while enjoying time spent each day.

Keeping our brains in good working order is an ongoing effort – just like physical fitness, it requires continuous activity and exercise. If we neglect to stay mentally active, then our routines could become disorganized or unfocused; even issues with memory loss might arise as a result. Investing the time now can ensure quality mental functioning for years down the line.

Keeping your mind sharp during retirement can be both fun and beneficial. From solving puzzles to learning a new language or skill-set, there are plenty of ways to give your brain the exercise it needs while having enjoyable experiences. Why not start by trying out one (or more) of these top six suggestions for keeping yourself mentally fit in retirement?

1.   Read a book

In a research published in the journal Neurology, consistent reading at a later age slowed memory loss by 32%.

Below are some excellent suggestions for keeping reading enjoyable:

  • Participate in or launch a book group at your chapel, temple, neighborhood library, or bookshop.
  • Either in person or over FaceTime and Skype, read to your grandkids – or let them read to you.
  • Obtain a subscription to your preferred magazine or newspaper.
  • Every day, take a few minutes to read.
  • Just read whatever you enjoy; quitting a book that is boring to you and selecting something else is acceptable.

Audiobooks are a great way to give your brain the same mental workout as reading. According to leading neuroscientists, listening is just as beneficial and has similar psychological effects. If you’re looking for an engaging activity that can help expand and strengthen your mind, audiobooks can help you accomplish that even as you are completing everyday tasks, like folding the laundry or cleaning the kitchen.

If you’re looking for fresh content, you can visit your neighborhood library or bookshop or even purchase online. However, consider using an audiobook tool on your laptop, smartphone, or other smart devices if you prefer the option of having books read to you.

2.   Start a garden

Numerous studies have linked the advantages of retiree gardening to good aging—active gardeners between the ages of 60 to 95 exhibit greater physical and psychological benefits. The mind and body are both strengthened and calmed by gardening. Time spent outside supports the immune function and lowers stress. Additionally, common garden dirt causes the system to generate serotonin, a chemical that promotes happiness.

Seniors can gain a wealth of valuable benefits by joining their local community garden. Not only will they learn new gardening tips from experienced green thumbs, but also make wonderful friends in the process. It’s an excellent way for seniors to stay active and connected with each other through mutual enjoyment of growing beautiful plants together.

3.   Exercise

The state of your brain and body are intimately related to one another. Regular exercise may promote a healthy mind and heart by lowering blood pressure, enhancing cholesterol, and balancing sugar levels.

And that’s not the end of it. Exercise also releases endorphins, the body’s “liking” hormone, which improves oxygen supply to the brain—because of this, exercising regularly can also assist you in reducing stress, overcoming depression, and developing a more optimistic attitude toward life. These are excellent justifications for remaining your body active in retirement.

To increase blood circulation, consider including any of these sports exercises into your everyday or weekly schedule:

  • Nearby environmental paths for hiking
  • Pickleball or tennis
  • Exercising with your dog
  • Tai chi and yoga
  • Water exercise

4.   Visit a museum and art gallery

Step into a world of art, science, innovation and nature’s grandeur. Visiting cultural venues, like galleries or exhibitions, boosts our physical and mental wellbeing. What’s more? Enjoying these amazing experiences can add years to your life, too.

You can explore something truly incredible when you visit a museum. From baroque paintings to historical artifacts, each display presents an opportunity for critical thinking and creative self-reflection. It’s not just about what the art means – it’s also how those messages could positively shape our lives today. Get inspired by taking time out of your day to learn more in these special spaces around us.

Appreciating art is an awe-inspiring way to stimulate your mind and protect against cognitive decline. By viewing engaging visuals, you’ll be challenged to interpret the message that each artwork conveys – a priceless exercise for enhancing mental acuity while reducing risks of acquiring neurodegenerative ailments.

5.   Play a sport

Retirement is a time for you to explore the physical and mental activities that best suit your interests. With countless affordable sports options suitable for any skill level, now’s the perfect opportunity to get moving. Challenge yourself with something new or continue practicing an old favorite. There are plenty of fun ways to stay active while having a blast in retirement.

Here are several retirement-friendly sports you can try:

  • Aquatics and swimming
  • Powerwalking
  • Lawn games (such as croquet)
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking

6.   Watch a documentary or docu-series

Our world has an incredible history, full of stories that can be told and shared across generations. Always make sure you keep access to reliable collections of the best documentaries from every era – a veritable time machine you can keep exploring through. These amazing films will not only enrich your life but also inspire young minds with new perspectives on the past, so feel free to include your children and grandchildren in the fun.

Seniors in retirement communities can enjoy a special treat of their own by revisiting the past through docu-series, giving them an opportunity to reflect on simpler times. It’s sure to bring about warm memories and evoke nostalgic feelings.

Summing up

Investing a little bit of time each day to expand your knowledge is the key to unlocking an even brighter tomorrow. Make any mundane task more enjoyable by listening to helpful learning materials while running errands. Enrich yourself and reap the rewards today.

Retirement can be even more enjoyable and fulfilling when your brain is healthy. Don’t wait any longer to take good care of it – pick up that book you’ve wanted to read, explore a new app, or check out some informative videos online! Keep exercising those mental muscles; the results will soon pay off in spades.

Our LivWell program focuses on whole-person wellness, catering to each of seven dimensions of wellness with a deep understanding of our physical, intellectual, emotional, social, environmental, spiritual, and vocational needs. Contact our senior living community in Monroe Township, NJ to find out more.

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