How to stay mentally active as you age

Updated on March 1, 2022

Most of us are aware that the risk of experiencing some form of cognitive decline increases as we get older. Whether it is memory loss, difficulty focusing, or slower processing speeds, we obviously want to avoid these issues for as long as possible. Therefore, you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of steps you can take to keep your brain healthy and your mind sharp. Want to find out more? Here are some top tips for staying mentally active no matter how old you are.

Exercise your brain

Just as we need to exercise our body to keep our muscles strong, we also need to exercise our brain to keep our mind strong. You can do this in all sorts of ways, from completing the daily crossword puzzle in the paper or Wordle online, to playing specially designed ‘brain games’ on your phone or a games console. Try out a few different types of puzzles and games to see which you enjoy the most and make an effort to do a range of styles during the week to engage different parts of your brain. Of course, your physical health is important too, so be sure to exercise your body regularly as well!

Read widely

We all know that reading is important for children’s development, but the truth is that it’s equally as vital for adults. Reading is a fantastic way to enhance your knowledge about the world, other cultures, history, science, and every other subject you can think of. This in turn keeps your mind active and curious. It doesn’t have to be only reading either – attending classes or lectures at your retirement community St Louis will have an equally beneficial effect. So take a deep dive into a topic that sounds interesting to you, or challenge yourself to learn about a new area every week.

Learn new skills

One of the most effective ways to stave off cognitive decline is to learn a new skill. This could be anything from how to play a musical instrument or cook a new type of food to how to speak a different language, so you have lots of freedom to pick a talent that you’ve always wanted to develop. These days there are a wealth of classes available for you to enroll on, whether you’d prefer to learn as part of a group or privately. Attending group classes has the extra benefit of social interaction, which is also key to staying happy and healthy as we age.

Seek out new experiences

Boredom and repetition can be a contributing factor to cognitive decline, so make an effort to seek out novel experiences wherever you can. You could try visiting new cities or countries, taking up new hobbies, setting up a small side business, or meeting new people. For instance, check out what social groups there are in your area – from walking groups to book clubs, you’re sure to find something that sounds interesting! Even activities such as visiting an art gallery or museum count, so your options are genuinely almost limitless. What will you discover next?


Senior Outlook Today is your go-to source for information, inspiration, and connection as you navigate the later years of life. Our team of experts and writers is dedicated to providing relevant and engaging content for seniors, covering topics such as health and wellness, finances, technology and travel.