You’ve probably heard the popular expression, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
Well, we’re not here to speak for the dogs, but we do know you’re never too old to learn something new. In fact, the benefits of trying a new activity far outweigh the initial frustrations of dealing with a learning curve. If you’ve been searching for the push to take up a new hobby or learn a new skill, look no further. Here are five benefits to trying something new as an older adult.
1. Improved Memory
Keeping your brain healthy and active is an important part of growing older. Challenging your mind with a new activity – like learning a language or taking up an instrument – helps keep your memory sharp and can slow cognitive aging.
To quote another popular expression: “you never know until you try.” When you make the effort to try something new, you open the door to the possibility of finding your new favorite activity or discovering a talent you didn’t know you had.
3. Increased Happiness
Regardless of whether you ever end up mastering the saxophone or learning all the rules to chess, trying a new activity can be extremely fulfilling. Not only can it shake up your routine, the enjoyment of engaging in something new can help make you happier.
4. Opportunity for Socialization
When you try something new, you open yourself up to the prospect of meeting new people and enjoying additional socialization opportunities. Having an active social life provides numerous benefits to older adults, such as improving cognitive function and reducing the risk for depression.
5. Sense of Accomplishment
Perhaps there’s a skill or achievement you’ve always meant to obtain, but never made the time for in your younger days. With that thought, we’ll share one final popular expression: “There’s no time like the present!” Finally trying something you’ve always meant to try will leave you with a great sense of pride and accomplishment.
Don’t let a fear of failure or the misconception that you’re too “old” stop you from trying something new—whether it’s a skill, craft, activity, or adventure. And if you’re not ready to devote all your time to finally learning that language or taking archery lessons, try starting small.
Want something new that you can start today? Try joining social media! Check out our free eBook, Social Media for Older Adults: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started.