(StatePoint) September, which is World Alzheimer’s Month, is an excellent reminder to keep your mind and body healthy through the years. Experts say that doing so can reduce your risk for cognitive decline. Try taking on these new hobbies to keep your mind sharp as you age:
• Cooking: Not only can the development of a new complicated skill such as cooking improve cognitive functions like problem-solving and concentration, but having the ability to create your own nutritious meals at home has the added benefit of being good for brain health. From TikTok tutorials to online classes taught by master chefs, today, there are more avenues for picking up culinary know-how than ever before.
• Music: Learning to play a musical instrument has countless benefits for brain health, helping improve memory, hand-eye coordination and more. It’s also a mood booster, which is important, as depression is considered a risk factor for dementia. Check out instruments designed to build skills quickly. Whether you’re a total novice or taking up the piano after a long hiatus, Casiotone Keyboards, for example, are portable, easy to use and connect to an app that features lessons and more.
• Exercise: The mind-body connection is strong. For ultimate brain health, stay physically active; and if you can do so outdoors, all the better. Research suggests that connecting with nature is good for one’s mental well-being, reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Support your journey with tools that track your activity and inspire you to delve further into adventures, whether that be hiking, fishing or rock climbing. The watches in the Pro Trek line feature Quad Sensor technology to provide you with temperature and barometric pressure so you can keep your eye on the weather conditions while out and about, as well as sunrise and sunset times, an app for anglers and much more.
• Camaraderie: Having an active social life can improve brain function. Unfortunately, if you aren’t proactive about it, there are not always that many opportunities to make new friends in adulthood. Whether it’s a sewing circle or a bowling league, consider joining a club or team for camaraderie and fun.
• Fast fingers: Did you know that you can use your calculator to keep your mind engaged when there’s downtime or you’re on-the-go? Calculator games can build math skills, improve memory and keep your mind nimble.
Just as it is important to maintain physical fitness as you age, it’s also critical to exercise your mind. Stay mentally active by trying new hobbies, building new skills and seeking out new experiences.