It’s almost time for your grandchildren to go back to school, but that doesn’t mean learning is just for kiddos! In fact, pursuing continuing education as a senior can have surprising overall health benefits—and it can be a fun and rewarding way to spend your time, especially if you’re retired. It doesn’t matter what kinds of classes you take, either. Just follow your interests and maybe you can learn something new, while supporting your heart health.
Related: The Importance of Hobbies
Here are just a few of the many benefits of pursuing continuing education in your golden years.
Benefits of Lifelong Learning in Your Golden Years
There are plenty of benefits to developing a lifelong learning habit, both for your heart and for your overall health. Continuing education provides personal enrichment through life skills.
Taking Classes Increases Cognitive Function
When you enroll in continuing education classes as a senior, you’re investing in your brain, but not just through learning itself. Studies show that when folks over the age of 50 are continuously engaged in active learning, their cognitive abilities improve. Win, win!
Continuing Education Supports Mental Health
Not only does taking classes throughout your life improve cognitive function overall, it also supports good mental health. In the same way that regular physical exercise supports good physical health, regular rigorous mental exertion helps build up and continually support mental health at all levels in older adults.
Read more: Four Ways to Keep an Aging Brain Sharp
Learning With Others Helps Improve Social Well-being
A big part of our overall health is related to our social connections and our feeling of belonging. This is still true, if not more so, for older adults. Taking continuing education classes in person can help expand your network of friends, let you meet new people, and give you more interesting things to talk about with your friends and family. Growing your social group improves your self-esteem and your quality of life. So why not give it a try?
How Do I Pursue Continuing Education Classes as a Senior?
There are many opportunities to enroll in continuing education classes as a senior. Odds are good the local community college in your area will have a wide variety of continuing education classes you can sign up for. You can also apply to take continuing education courses from state and private universities as well. If you’re looking for a less formal option for continuing education classes, you can search for classes offered at your local community center, at art centers, or even online.
No matter what your interests are, enrolling in a few continuing education courses during your golden years is a fruitful, fun way to stay sharp and social, all at once. For more fun ways to stay heart healthy, why not sign up for our year-long Healthy Heart Challenge?