A child’s journey as a student typically concludes following high school or college. While formal lessons, homework, and examinations may come to an end, it’s crucial to recognize that education should not stop there. Nor should the quest for knowledge cease. The need to grow and adopt healthy behaviors continues as an ongoing pursuit.

Lifelong learning is key to continuous self-improvement and enhancing one’s personal and professional life. By reading new material daily as a source of enjoyment, not a source of stress, individuals can maintain their roles as lifelong students.

There are materials and genres to suit practically every preference and purpose. Many valuable reading materials and resources are available from Learning First Alliance members and other education and health-focused organizations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Mayo Clinic, and the National Institutes of Health, for example offer up-to-date information on an extensive array of health and wellness-related subjects.

Given that an individual’s health can change annually and, for some, even monthly, it is imperative to learn about healthy habits and behaviors. Healthy habits lead to healthy and smart living.

There are simple ways to help one live smart, including reading informative articles and publications, attending regular medical check-ups, staying hydrated, prioritizing sufficient nightly sleep, and making healthy meal and snack choices.

There are also many opportunities to weave healthy choices into one’s daily routine. Simple additions to one’s regimen, such as regular handwashing with soap, practicing proper cough etiquette, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and staying up-to-date with essential routine vaccinations, can collectively make a significant positive impact on one’s health and overall well-being.

While there are many ways to gain a formal education, lifelong learning, an important aspect of smart and healthy living, goes beyond what can be taught in a classroom and can be continually tailored to support your ongoing growth, health, and well-being.

written by Madison Knapp, Learning First Alliance 2023 intern and recent college graduate