Hitting your fifties, sixties, seventies and beyond provides countless opportunities to accomplish goals you never had time for previously — as well as explore new hobbies to maintain your physical and mental health. We’re sure you’ve been told of the benefits of completing crosswords and playing games that test memory, but there’s only so many times you can answer 4 Across. For this, we suggest ditching the crossword (a few days a week) and get cracking on a new language!
Still not convinced? Here are five reasons why you should give it a shot.
1. Challenge Yourself!
Who doesn’t enjoy a good challenge? Most of us get a daily dose of challenge from our partners, but if fighting over who left a plate in the sink isn’t as fun as it used to be, why not try a language? Not only will it help your mind stay active, but you could also learn a new way to tell John, Beth or Barry it’s their turn to take out the washing.
2. Make New Friends
Making new friends is one of life’s great pleasures, and there’s nothing quite like learning a language to bring you together. Shared frustrations, shared wins and all the good stuff along the way is a surefire way to make strong friendships. It’s easy to join study groups (either online or in person) for the specific language you’re learning. And once you have your new skills, you can make friends in your new tongue! How good.
3. Immerse Yourself Abroad
The annual Melbourne trip to see the kids might feel like a pilgrimage, but it’s nothing compared to the real thing. Going overseas with a head full of new knowledge and a mouth ready to fire off those new conversation starters is one of the most exhilarating things you can ever do. And even if you mumble and fumble your way from Paris to Berlin, you can go home knowing you gave it a red hot go. We’re not saying you’ll have some Eat Pray Love experience but you’ll definitely come back with a few good tales, and even more laughs.
4. Strengthen Your Brain
In addition to keeping dementia at bay, learning a new language can improve your mental strength in other ways. A study conducted by the American Heart Association found that when recovering from a stroke, the percentage of bilinguals with their cognitive functions intact was more than twice that of monolinguals. Bilingualism can also increase your focus, problem-solving and multitasking abilities.
5. Achieve A Life Goal
Focusing on your family, building a career and figuring out what you’re cooking for dinner can rob most of us of our own goals. Always wanted to freshen up that French from school? Now’s your chance. It’s never too late. So, what’s the hold-up? Let’s get cracking!