Learn a New Language

By Jason Black
By Jason Black

Now that you are enjoying more personal freedom at this stage of your life, why not stretch yourself in a new way? Chances are before your fabulous 50s, you were too busy to even consider learning a new skill that didn’t relate to work, your family, or other obligations you had.

Learning a new language is a great way to stretch yourself. It’s not something you’ll master overnight, it does take some personal commitment, but so does anything worthwhile. Not only is this something that is interesting and practical for traveling to one of those countries that you’ve always dreamed about visiting, but it can also help to protect your brain. Learning a new language is proven to be a good defense against Alzheimer’s disease.  Besides when you take your next trip to Mexico or some other Spanish speaking country imagine being able to converse in the language.  You can learn Spanish at home which means that you can learn with family members or friends and practice what you learn together.

How does learning a new language help your brain?

It keeps your mind active, and the mental challenge of learning a new language may help strengthen connections in your brain, keeping them sharper. It will improve your memory and retention of new information, which is especially important here because Alzheimer’s, a form of dementia, mainly affects people over the age of 50, and most commonly over 65 years of age. Keeping your brain active and stimulated is just as important as staying physically fit.  Other reasons to learn a new language

It’s true that many places you can travel to these days speak enough English for you to get by without learning their language, but taking the time to actually learn to communicate in their local language is one way to extend a warm greeting, and for you to feel even more welcome and at home there. Many people appreciate the effort you will be making as a tourist, to try and speak their language. You will get a greater sense and feel for the locale this way, and it opens the door to learning more about the culture than you would get from a travel guide.

In your 50s, you may find it extremely refreshing to put your brain to use in a new way, pick up a new skill that is interesting and challenging, and makes for good dinner conversation the next time you’re out with friends. Your family may also be impressed that you are choosing to apply yourself to an interesting new skill and you will get the sense of personal satisfaction from achieving such a worthwhile goal. You might also consider having a friend or partner join you if you think they might be interested.

You are in a new and important time of your life, one that can be as interesting, engaging, exciting and rewarding a time, as those that came before. Expand your horizons – life can be an adventure filled with fresh new things to help you grow and evolve even further and build new memories to cherish. Learn a new language, then pack a bag and travel to the destination if you wish and put it to use!

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