Lifelong Learning Keeps Your Mind SHARP in Retirement


LEBANON, OH -- Even if your formal education ended decades ago, you’re still learning every day when you interact with others and engage with the world around you. Beyond those passive learning experiences, if you consciously set out to learn new things, you may be surprised by how many benefits you can reap by enrolling in a life long learning program.

Consider your mind as a muscle that has to be trained on a regular basis to stay in shape. Consider lifelong learning programs as the fitness centers for your mind.

Studies show that learning new tasks, visiting new places, observing how things are made, and trying something new all helps to keep your mind sharp in retirement.

I retired 22 years ago, and my first volunteer “job” was with a local city TV station where I operated the camera for studio shows and local high school sports. I still volunteer there today.

Ten years ago, I joined Miami University’s Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) where I taught classes about travel photography and placing/organizing/storing photos online.

In addition to my volunteer teaching, I traveled with ILR’s bus tours to some very interesting places in Ohio and Kentucky. Photos of ILR classes and bus tours, since 1997, are online at ILRphotos.

In summary, it is critical to keep your mind busy and challenged as you age. Learning novel skills or concepts is an excellent method to keep the mind active. By preserving brain cells and ensuring that they interact effectively with one another, continued learning can also increase memory.

Miami University’s ILR will begin their spring semester on March 27th. With over 75 courses (local and online), tours, and trips to choose from, you’re sure to soon become Engaged, Enriched, and Enlightened.

In addition, opportunities abound for getting involved on a deeper level as a volunteer. Call ILR at 513-529-8500 or visit the ILR website,, for more information or to be added to their catalog and/or newsletter mailing list.

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