7 Benefits of Keeping Your Brain Active as You Age

benefits of keeping your brain active

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 



For most of us, aging comes with worries about cognitive decline. It’s certainly a valid concern as one in nine people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, and the cases continue to increase. However, growing evidence indicates that you may be able to reduce your risk; this is just one of the benefits of keeping your brain active. Get the full list of benefits and learn tips on keeping your brain active here.

Understanding Brain Health

The National Institute on Aging defines brain health as how well a person’s brain functions across areas that include:

  • Cognitive health — How well you think, learn and remember.
  • Motor function — How well you make and control movements, including balance.
  • Emotional function — How well you interpret and respond to emotions.
  • Tactile function — How well you feel and respond to sensations of touch including pressure, pain, and temperature.

Brain health can be affected by age-related changes, injuries such as stroke or traumatic brain injury, mood disorders such as depression, substance abuse, and diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. While some factors that affect brain health cannot be changed, there are lifestyle habits that could make a difference, such as keeping your brain active.

Benefits of Keeping Your Brain Active

The brain is a vital organ, and just like physical exercise helps other parts of your body, keeping your brain active benefits your mind in ways that may include:

  1. Reducing your risk of cognitive decline
  2. Slowing down the advancement of dementia if you already have it
  3. Increasing mental adaptability and cognitive reserve
  4. Improving memory recall and problem-solving skills
  5. Improving concentration and attention to detail
  6. Improving self-confidence and mood
  7. Regulating and reducing stress

Ultimately the benefits of keeping your brain active can improve your quality of life overall.

Tips for Keeping Your Brain Active

Now- that you know the benefits of keeping your brain active, how can you do so? There are many ways including:

  • Read books, play board games, or cards – Research supports that those who read or participate in similar cognitive practices experience slower memory decline than those who do not.
  • Learn something new – Challenging yourself to master new skills can trigger pathways that help you maintain cognitive function as you age. For example, learn a new language, a new instrument, do something artistic, or even simply find a new way to do a familiar task.
  • Stay social – Not only is this a way of keeping your brain active, but social engagement also helps to ward off depression as well as stress, both of which contribute to memory loss. Join a book club, bridge club, and/or a walking group. Volunteering also counts, and it’s rewarding in more ways than one. And don’t forget to spend time with family and friends regularly, too.
  • Get moving – Regular cardiovascular exercise that elevates your heart rate increases blog flow to not just the body but also the brain, which may explain the association between physical activity and reduced risk of cognitive decline.

How Vitality’s Vibrant Brain Program Can Help

Following all these tips on your own is certainly doable, but keeping your brain active is often much easier when the opportunities are organized for you, available right outside your door, and you can experience them together with friends and neighbors.

That’s why we created Vibrant Brain as part of the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. We’re focused on healthy aging, and the benefits of keeping your brain active go hand-in-hand with that. Here, you’ll find monthly calendars filled with clubs, classes, events, creative arts, and fitness and enrichment opportunities all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time so you can make the most of it!

For more information about Vitality’s Vibrant Brain program, visit our Vivid Life webpage. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour and experience Vivid Life for yourself.

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