Monday Motivator: Give the Brain Cells Some Exercise

Today NPR reported on a study showing that senior citizens who learn new skills have stronger memories. This means that learning a new software program for your computer may be more beneficial than playing “mind-strengthening” games on it.

Of course, those of us who work at colleges are proponents of lifelong learning. Still, it’s easy to slack off in this department. I know that, without realizing it, I can let weeks go by without doing anything that actually works out those little ‘grey cells.’ 

Fortunately, the internet can be used for more than finding cute kitten pictures (although who doesn’t love a cute kitten!). There are free resources for those who want to learn something new. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Duolingo is a great way to learn a new language. (I’m still working on French.)
  • Nashville State subscribes to Lynda.com, where there are thousands of video courses in topics such as photography, web design, and software programs. 
  • YouTube is a treasure trove for video instruction as well. (And you thought it was just for kittens finding scary things.) You can find videos on everything from baking cakes to playing the banjo.

There are lots of ways to learn. We just have to carve out time to work on the skills. But summer is coming. So this year, in addition to planning a vacation, add learning a new skill to your summer bucket list as well.

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