Daily Archives: December 8, 2010
Have you ever thought about your brain health? Have you ever heard or even said, “Oh, I just don’t remember things as well as I used to, but that’s normal.” But guess what, new research has now shown that one’s memory skills and cognitive abilities do not have to decline as a part of the normal aging process. We are never too old to learn and need to embrace the concept of lifelong learning. There are many things each of us can do to maintain or even improve our memory skills and overall cognitive abilities. Take advantage of brain or neuroplasticity-the brain’s ability to form new pathways and continue learning.
First, let’s begin with some very basic tasks you can use immediately and continue on a daily basis. Try brushing your teeth with your non dominant hand. This helps form new brain pathways, promoting new learning. Once you are comfortable brushing your teeth with your opposite hand, then alternate hands on a daily or weekly basis. Another simple task to incorporate into your life is upon entering the grocery store begin your shopping on the other side of the store. This helps break your regular routine and encourages you to think. For a more complex challenge, try shopping at a different store. This helps your problem solving skills improve as you navigate your way through an unfamiliar environment. By trying things a little differently, you help create new brain pathways to keep your brain healthy. It’s all about new learning.
Want some additional ideas to promote a healthy brain? Consider this-if something is good for your heart, then it is also good for your brain. Eating fish at least 1x/week decreases your risk for developing Alzheimer’s. Fish contains healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Do you know if you are consuming adequate amounts of Vitamin D or your B vitamins? Perhaps it’s time for a physical and some routine lab work? This is crucial to your overall brain health. Enjoy plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. Saute your foods with healthy olive oil. Don’t forget about nuts like walnuts and almonds. Why do you think walnuts are shaped like brains? Obviously because walnuts are a healthy brain food! So many of these foods have health benefits for your heart and brain. Many decrease inflammation, boost immunity, and improve memory and cognitive skills. Be sure to get enough rest, and if you need a nap during the day then take one. After all, your brain needs rest too! Get up, get moving and take a walk. Research now shows that walking 6-9 miles per week significantly decreases the risk for developing Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia.
Here are some fun ideas to promote brain health. Gather some friends together and play a board game, learn a new game or language. If you study a new language, then you can reward yourself by planning a trip to use your newly acquired language skills. That’s a great brain activity! If you have never attempted crossword puzzles, well give them a try. Try something new! It’s important to be part of a social group and have fun. Laugh! Remember, you are never too old to learn and challenge your brain, while building your cognitive reserve. Let’s work together and boost that brain power!
The holidays are really upon us and only 16 shopping days left until Christmas! Take a break from shopping and exercise your brain! Grab a cup of green tea or hot cocoa with some spiced or plain walnuts, dark chocolate, or blueberries and let’s workout. So, let’s try more anagrams with a holiday theme. Remember, anagrams are a great brain exercise and they target problem solving skills, reasoning skills, thought organization, thought flexibility, judgment, and executive function skills. Anagrams are fun for everyone-teens, baby boomers, seniors. Anagrams are a fun brain building activity to boost those brain cells and build your cognitive reserve. Try these anagrams as a family activity or part of a family game night and see who can find the most. Enjoy, laugh, have fun-it’s good for all of us! A healthy heart helps us maintain a healthy mind.
Here are your anagrams. How many new words can be formed? Share your lists with us and let’s see who can generate the most words!