One of the most important things you can do to stay young is keep an active mind. Here are some things we do to keep our brains stimulated:
Music – we play music all the time. It’s an eclectic variety. We keep a list of artists and styles that we would like to explore so that we can pick them up when we have a chance. I have iTunes set up with a complicated playlist system that randomly picks songs based on some parameters like day of the week, exercise versus relaxing, keywords for the mood, how recently the song has been heard, and so on. We might be listening to classical, Indian, punk, prog rock, new wave, experimental, African, anything at any time.
Hobbies – I love to cook and we both enjoy creating art and photography. We like to learn about new places to visit and learn about.
Skills – We try to pick up new skills both directly related and tangentially related to our careers. For example, I might learn all about High Performance Computing and Jason about Flash. At the same time, we’ll study something about medical history or linguistics.
Challenge both sides of the brain – I have slight APD (auditory processing disorder) which is a form of auditory dyslexia. Jason has slight visual dyslexia (he’s ambidextrous and has a hard time telling left from right). We try to challenge ourselves with activities that overcome these problems. For me, trying to talk while doing something else is a huge challenge.
Physical activity – Another great thing to do is something that challenges your mind and body at the same time. I’m practicing using a hula hoop and try to mimic dance steps that I see on TV and movies.