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For sure, going to book club or one of those trendy Paint Nites at a bar is a whole lot of fun. Turns out it may also be doing your brain major good.

April 09, 2015

For sure, going to book club or one of those trendy Paint Nites at a bar is a whole lot of fun. Turns out they may also be doing your brain major good. Crafting, engaging in the arts, and socializing can help keep cognitive impairment at bay in your old age, finds a Mayo Clinic Study of Aging that followed a group of folks ages 85 to 89 for four years.

The study subjects who had engaged in activities including painting, book club, crafts like sculpting and social activities like travel during middle age were about half as likely to develop mild cognitive impairment as those who hadn't. "As you use your brain for these activities," lead author Rosebud O. Roberts told Reuters, "we believe you preserve or maintain function of the brain cells. You may also develop new neuronal connections that preserve memory and thinking skills."

RELATED: 12 Unexpected Things that Mess With Your Memory

The trick is to start doing this stuff as early in life as possible, Roberts said: "The earlier people start and continue through late life, the stronger the benefits they are likely to reap from these activities."

Given that "book club" is synonymous with "wine club" for many of us, let us not forget the benefits of vino. Research suggests that a glass a day could also preserve memory—it can help prevent clots and reduces blood vessel inflammation linked to cognitive decline and heart disease. Cheers!

Now get out there, have a good time, and go boost some brain cells.

RELATED: 17 Ways to Age-Proof Your Brain

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