It’s not too surprising, given that the brain is a muscle that needs to be worked in order to function optimally. Whether that’s through professional employment or other strategies, Dean Sherzai, M.D., and Ayesha Sherzai, M.D., neurologists and directors of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda University, say optimizing executive function and challenging your mind becomes increasingly crucial in your 40s and beyond.
During an episode of the mindbodygreen podcast, Dean said “it becomes exponentially more important to challenge the brain around your purpose as you get older.” Though the research is focused primarily on the benefits of postponing retirement, don’t stress if you’re under 67 and retired!
“We say, ‘Don’t retire—rewire. Reconnect,’” Dean said. That could look like “managing a team, book clubs, card games, learning to dance, music, taking classes at any age… It should be about more complex things that you enjoy.” Any and all of which can be taken up whether you’re employed or not—but if your job gives you purpose and keeps you active each day, well, you may want to stick with it for the sake of your brain health.