I don’t think probably the last time you took a vacation and went somewhere you’ve been you were thinking that it was going to cognitively change you? Here’s the TDLR of the post: There are things that we can do to actually change the cognitive response as we age. Adventuring can do that.
Researchers from CCNA (The Canadian Consortium on Nuerodegeneration in Aging) is proving that taking regular new novelties and taking in challenging new places you’ve never been actually builds denser neural networks. 🧠
People who have led more cognitively stimulating lives – through formal education, complex paid occupations, and/or cognitively engaging hobbies – have reduced risk of developing dementia. – Nicole D Anderson, PHD
Building this cognitive reserve is so important. Yet the average number of leisure engaging trips we take in the years between 2007 and 2016 was 4.7 at less than a week each trip. We don’t do it enough. We grab carry out and just shut ourselves behind closed doors bingeing the latest or greatest from Netflix.
One of the favorite things that my wife and I like to do is explore every city we stay in. Even when we’ve been there before, we always try to squeeze everything we can from that city. We’ll visit old haunts and try new things in those haunts we didn’t try last time. Exploring cultural activities wherever we go like museums, events, and races is a great example of an activity that can build your cognitive reserve.
Adventure this summer can be found in everything, you don’t have to leave town like in the example above. You can find it in a simple day trip to a neighboring city next to your own. You can find it in your work. And yes, even around the blocks that surround your homes.
I have found adventure in flying, in world travel, in business, and even close at hand…Adventure is a state of mind – and spirit. – Jacqueline Cochran, Pioneer in American Aviation
A state of mind. Which means it can take place anywhere if you just look. And, as a state of mind it builds and focuses on the mind as you do it. Some questions that can help you get there and figure it out:
What’s one area of your life you’d like to grow or be different?
What’s a place you’ve always wanted to go, but not gone?
Do you find yourself in the comfort zone or the growth zone during your day to day toiling around the job?
You’re more adventurous than you give yourself credit for. The scientific reasons you should be more adventurous will pay your future self back in a huge way as you will proactively fight cognitive degeneration like Alzheimer’s before it can even start.
Take a day trip sprint somewhere this weekend. It’s only Saturday afternoon, the weekend is still ahead of you. Thanks for reading!
I am in complete agreement on how one can change their cognitive functioning. I have recently taken up learning how to play the piano. From what I have learned from neuroscience the mind is “plastic,” and we can continually alter our neural pathways. Through practice and repetition, we can make new positive “go-to’s” that become the norm. It’s really amazing…our brains! Thanks for your post!
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