Next Avenue: Want to learn new skills, keep your brain sharp and have fun? Volunteer.

by | Nov 4, 2022 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from NextAvenue.org. After I read Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s book, “Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age,” I was left with several compelling ideas. The most profound was: Do something different to help create new neural pathways which will help keep the old brain sizzling.

It didn’t matter whether it was carrying your coffee mug in the other hand, taking up a new language or tripping over your feet learning to play pickleball, mindfulness would improve mental acuity and help stave off memory loss. It would also add to a life that might have become a tad too routine (but that is my observation, not Dr. Gupta’s). When I showed up on a Saturday morning last year at a local Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Habitat for Humanity construction site, Dr. Gupta wasn’t on my mind. I had simply responded when a woman friend had rallied a coterie of distaff older adults to join her Women Build construction team. We had bright fuchsia T-shirts reading: “As girls we played house, as Women we build them” and sporting our team logo, “We nailed it!” on the back.   I arrived at the designated address, and I saw a rainbow of shirts on-site, but no other fuchsias; I didn’t know anyone else there. Gupta challenge No. 1: Remember everyone’s name. But that was not an issue because we each printed our name on a piece of duct tape and stuck it on our shirts. Also see: How one retired couple is finding adventure working and volunteering at home and around the worldA role for everyone The variously colored T-shirts, I soon learned, were shorthand for their wearer’s relationship with Habitat. Ms. Judy’s orange shirt was proudly emblazoned with the title “homeowner” indicating that this compa …

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