When was the last time you learned a new sport? High school? Maybe you took up yoga in your 20s. Maybe you swam competitively in college and haven’t swum a lap since. Maybe you started skinning uphill when you moved to Aspen 10 years ago. Maybe you ride the same route every day.
According to Dr. Christina Miller, MD Integrative Medicine, “As you age, neurons in your brain and spinal cord begin to degenerate, and even die off, if not being used. Think of activities that you used to do that you no longer do now. You’re likely losing, or have already lost, those neurons. This can range from complicated math problems or playing an instrument, to playing a sport or activity and have given up. The good news is that you can learn or relearn activities at any age, and promote growth of those, or nearby neurons, and regain function. This is the concept of neuroplasticity – regenerating parts of your brain and body that have gone latent with inactivity.
Learning a new sport is a great way to fire up some neurons, especially in the areas of balance, movement, focus, and complex motor coordination. Neurons that fire together wire together and will keep your brain and body functioning at a higher level.”
With Dr. Miller’s info in mind, I would like to issue a challenge to make a month this year “Learn A New Sport Month.” Find something that you’ve never done and give it a try. Or, how about that high school or college sport that you competed in and loved? What about a class at your gym that you’ve always said you would join?
Rekindle that fire. Regenerate those neurons!