How to Keep Your Brain Healthy by Becoming a Lifelong Learner
It’s never too late to learn something new. Whether you want to become an expert on a specific topic, or simply stretch your brain, online courses make the concept of lifelong learning a reality. The even better news is that most of these courses are absolutely free and you can take them day or night from anywhere in the world.
How to Keep Your Brain Healthy After 60
If you are wondering how to keep your brain healthy after 60, it’s a good idea to join a community where you can get a sense of personal achievement and purpose. Some of the sites mentioned in this article are quite academic. Others are practical and will help you to do more every day.
Here are a few places to start your journey to becoming a lifelong learner:
Learn How to do Small things Better, Every Day
Becoming a lifelong learner doesn’t mean that you need to focus on purely academic topics. Learning can be practical (and fun) too. Sites like eHow, Brit+co and Lifehacker provide free practical advice and tutorials to help you get the most from your life. There are also smaller, specialty sites that can help you to learn everything from cooking to how to make your own cosmetics. Here are a few of the many practical lessons that you can find on these sites.
- Make your own cosmetics in the kitchen
- Build a little terrarium, geometric candle holder, or a fireplace out of washi tape
- Learn to shop smart, cook clever and waste less with Jamie Oliver
- Get involved with a home workout movement
- Build a brick oven to make the ultimate pizza at home
- Create an amazing herb garden at home
Get Inspired and Learn About the World with TED-Ed
TED-Ed classes are some of my favorites. I am a huge fan of TED Talks, having organized my own TEDx in London last year. TED-Ed is a new educational program that they have launched to connect educators with designers. The result is a series of beautifully illustrated lessons that are guaranteed to inspire you as you explore the world around you. Here are a few of the many short videos that you can watch on Ted-Ed for free:
- The five major world religions
- Why is yawning contagious?
- Is time travel possible?
- What is love?
- The science of macaroni salad: What’s in a mixture?
Go Back to University for Free with Coursera
Coursera provides online courses from top universities. Unlike some learning sites, with Coursera, you take courses at the same time as other learners, adding a community aspect to your experience. You can choose to take the course for free or pay $49 for a certificate that verifies your participation and that can be shared on your resume or LinkedIn profile. Great for job hunters! Here are just a few of the hundreds of courses that you can take.
- Learn how to turn your big idea into a business
- Find out about the importance of nutrition
- Learn how to change the world (yes, that’s really the course topic!)
- Learn about Roman architecture
- Get an introduction to genetics and evolution
It’s now easier than ever to make learning a way of life. Not only is learning good for your brain, but it also gives you an emotional boost. I personally plan on making learning a priority in 2014. I’ve already signed up for the Music of the Beatles and Fundamentals of Human Nutrition. Who knows, maybe I will even learn How to Change the World this year!
How do you plan to keep your brain healthy after 60? Is there a course listed in this article that looks particularly interesting? What is the one thing that you want to learn this year?
Want even more tips on how to keep your brain healthy? Watch my fun interview with neuroscientist, Dr. Medina, author of Brain Rules.