Constant learning

Learned anything new today?

A small collection of things that can be learned, whatever your age is

Finger knitting
Knitting is great training for your fingers and hands, helping to counterbalance their one-sided deployment on smartphones. Apparently, it also helps keep you sharp: knitting regularly between the ages of 50 and 65 reduces the risk of dementia. If you find the constant clickclack of the needles irritating, try your hand at finger knitting first. Using wool and the fingers of one hand, you can knit a long cord in no time. And in the process create gift decorations and other useful items.

Sun salutations
Originally, sun salutations were directed by yogis towards the rising sun, hence their name. Today they are part of every yoga session, and many of fitness regimes as well. The sequence of eleven positions involves all the main muscle groups, stretching and strengthening them while improving the circulation. The coordination of movement and breathing is at once stimulating and relaxing. And, needless to say, sun salutations are even good on rainy days.

You don’t have to go out to get fit. You can hone your juggling skills at home, or even in an open-plan office. The controlled movements as you toss and catch the balls will improve your circulation, too. The left and right sides of the brain need to work together to maintain coordination, which also boosts cognitive skills. You don’t need special skills or talent. It’s practice that makes perfect, however old you are.

Playing the harmonica
So you skipped the music classes at school? Abandoned the violin just a few lessons in, and didn’t even try the recorder? Then the harmonica could be the instrument for you. It’s easy to learn on your own, and small enough to hide in your pocket if a tune doesn’t sound perfect first time around. But once you’ve mastered the basics, you can always pull it out and serenade your friends. To everyone’s delight – not to mention their surprise.

Baking bread
If you have friends working at your local bakery, skip this tip. Otherwise we would highly recommend baking bread yourself. It’s a piece of cake! Thanks to a simple trick, it will taste really professional: you just have to put a lid on your baking tin and ensure the oven is hot enough – and of course muster a little patience, because good dough takes time to rise. That said, it does so all on its own, so mix that dough today and you’ll have something to be proud of tomorrow.

Producing a podcast
Tackling new technologies can often be a challenge. So most people stick to equipment they already know. Nevertheless, learning more and extending your skills is always great exercise for your hippocampus. So why not share some of your thoughts, publish a travelogue or recommend your favorite recipes? There are lots of blogs – but far fewer podcasts. And you don’t need to be a geek to make one.

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