Category Archives: Brain
Spring has sprung and is here in full force! Allergies, pollen, blossoms, and maybe even the spring cleaning bug. How about a spring cleaning for your brain? Get rid of those cobwebs that crowded your brain during your winter hibernation and return to the business of forming new brain pathways while building a cognitive reserve through neuroplasticity or brain plasticity. Let’s build a buff brain! Challenge yourself with something new or just do something differently or change the order of things in your daily, morning or evening rituals. Yes, it can actually be that simple-anything that causes or forces us to think differently is beneficial! It doesn’t matter if you are a senior, a baby boomer, a gen X or Y, approaching 50, 40, or even 30. We all need to embrace the concept of lifelong learning. It’s as simple as ABC-Always Brain Challenging-that is what we believe at BrainMasters!
Equally important to exercising the brain is the caring for the brain. This includes physical exercise and eating healthy brain foods. By engaging in physical exercise and consuming healthy foods we become active participants in the anti-aging, longevity, and anti-Alzheimer’s Disease campaign. I know everyone is busy-we all are. Surely, we all can allocate 30 minutes each day to exercise whether it is a walk, yoga, biking, or playing Wii Fit-just get moving! If you have a dog, then walk it; after all pets need exercise too!
Now that you are armed with this powerful new knowledge, it is time to exercise your brain and form new pathways! Here are some spring themed anagrams. Form as many new words as possible, and let us know how you do!
Two varieties of wild blackberries found in Spain and Portugal may protect the brain from oxidative stress. Here is a link to a summary of the article published in the Journal of European Nutrition.
Have you ever challenged your brain with anagrams? Anagrams are another great brain exercise to help build your cognitive reserve. Yes, anagrams are anti aging for the brain promoting brain health and fitness. Anagrams are fun for people of all ages- kids, teens, young adults, middle aged, baby boomers, and seniors of course! Anagrams target the cognitive areas of problem solving, reasoning, executive function, memory, and vocabulary. Before you attempt these dementia fighting, anti Alzheimer’s Disease mentally stimulating brain exercises, let’s be sure everyone knows what anagrams are. You will be provided with a single word and your challenge is to rearrange all the letters and form new words. You may form more than one word with the letters as long as all the letters are utilized. Here is an example. If BRAIN is the starter word, the letters may be rearranged to form the words: RAN BI. I think you get the point. Enjoy, laugh, take a deep breath, sit back relax and get ready to challenge yourself. Let’s promote mental fitness, mental stimulation, healthy aging, health and wellness, longevity, and brain health. So, here’s to your brain.
Try anagrams for the following list of spring inspired words. Create as many new word combinations as you can. Happy Spring!
The UCLA Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care program will have three main components: creation of a dementia registry; a needs assessment of patients listed in the registry; and individualized dementia care plans based on those assessments.
Click on this link to watch a short introductory video on this exciting program.
Are you getting enough Omega-3s in your diet? Studies continue to report that diets rich in Omega-3s may help protect the brain against aging. Read more here….
Did you know that March is Brain Injury Awareness Month? BrainMasters is committed to increasing brain awareness and has provided a link to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website that contains information we all should be familiar with when it comes to brain injury prevention and awareness. You will even find a quiz to test your knowledge of brain injury as well as many facts, figures and statistics.
Did you know that every year 1.7 million people will sustain a traumatic brain injury? Of those-
- 52,000 die,
- 275,000 are hospitalized, and
- 1.365 million, nearly 80%, are treated and released from an emergency department
Do you know the leading causes for brain injuries?
- Falls (35.2%);
- Motor vehicle – traffic (17.3%);
- Struck by/against events (16.5%); and
- Assaults (10%)
Do you know the 7 ways to avoid a head injury according to the CDC?
1. Wearing a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle.
2. Buckling your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt (according to the child’s height, weight, and age).
- Children should start using a booster seat when they outgrow their child safety seats (usually when they weigh about 40 pounds). They should continue to ride in a booster seat until the lap/shoulder belts in the car fit properly, typically when they are 4’9” tall
3. Never driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
4. Wearing a helmet and making sure your children wear helmets.
5. Making living areas safer for seniors, by:
- Removing tripping hazards such as throw rugs and clutter in walkways;
- Using nonslip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors; Installing grab bars next to the toilet and in the tub or shower;Installing handrails on both sides of stairways;Improving lighting throughout the home; and
- Maintaining a regular physical activity program, if your doctor agrees, to improve lower body strength and balance.
6. Making living areas safer for children, by:
Installing window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows; and
Using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around.
7. Making sure the surface on your child’s playground is made of shock-absorbing material, such as hardwood mulch or sand.
Looking to boost your brain power without caffeine? Did you know that decaf coffee may provide a memory boost and improved brain function? Read the article here.
Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. Wow, 2011 continues to fly by even up to the very end. I hope it has been as great a year for you as it has been for me! As I evaluate my accomplishments and challanges of this year, I am planning for next year. That leads me to the question, “Should we make a New Year’s resolution or develop goals for the new year?” When I searched the definitions of these words as a comparison, the results were interesting. The definition of resolution is- a formal expression of opinion or intention made, usually after voting, by a formal organization, a legislature, or other group. The definition of goal is- the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end. Opinion verses result or achievement with effort? I vote that we all develop New Year’s goals! We tend to write our goals down which then holds us accountable. Goals are measurable and objective. Keep in mind that goals can and need to be updated and amended regularly to help us attain our goals and achieve success. So why not begin now by starting a goal sheet for 2012? You have nothing to lose-only goals to achieve!
If you need some suggestions for some 2012 goals, let me help. Try to make 2012 the year you take charge of your health and life. There are so many things we can do to promote healthy living, longevity, anti-aging, healthy aging, and the list continues. Begin by setting a goal of 30 minutes of exercise each day-even just walking is beneficial to your health. It’s all about getting up and moving-get off the couch! If 30 minutes a day seems overwhelming, begin with 3 times a week and increase it to 5 days per week, until you hit 6- 7 days per week. By committing to physical exercise, your brain reaps benefits too! You will gain increased blood flow throughout your body and brain which helps maintain brain health and cognition.
Speaking of brain health, we all need to include a goal addressing our brain fitness and maintenance. Make a goal to stimulate and improve your brain power by learning something new and challenging your brain. Build and make new brain connections through neuroplasticity or brain plasticity. Researchers continue to uncover more amazing discoveries about the brain and its ability to form new neural or learning pathways. Remember, memory loss with decreased brain function does not have to be a part of the normal aging process! We are never too young to begin building our cognitive reserve or too old for new learning! It’s all about introducing and learning new things. If you have never tried anagrams, scrambled words, crossword puzzles, or other word games than these are great brain exercises to try as you commit to exercise your brain.
Of course, how can I not discuss the benefits of a healthy diet? There are numerous health benefits by just avoiding processed foods. Processed foods contain preservatives and hidden salt, neither provide health benefits but rather can increase blood pressure and increase your risk for certain cancers, Alzheimer’s and other diseases. Instead, take advantage of spices that have health benefits. Try using garlic, rosemary, basil, oregano, turmeric, paprika, black pepper, cinnamon, thyme, ginger, red peppers, cloves, coriander, and white pepper. Did you know that some of the most delicious foods have health benefits? Add these to your diet-dark chocolate, walnuts, almonds, blueberries, strawberries, greek yogurt, Alaskan or Pacific salmon, cashews, oats, apples, bananas, cranberries, broccoli, avocados, olive oil-preferably first cold pressed, artichokes, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach, leafy green vegetables. I’m sure most of us should increase our consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as nuts. By consuming fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, lean meats, healthy fats, and dairy we also increase our intake of vitamins and minerals essential for health.
Why not schedule a well check up with your physician? Discuss your diet-honestly, and review your vitamins and supplements as well. Have some blood tests run-how is your vitamin D, what about your B vitamins? Lots to do as you become your own health advocate and take control of your health and life!
Let’s discuss beverages. Do you drink enough water? Water is essential to keep our bodies and brains functioning properly. After you’ve consumed your water, try some green, white, or black tea and/or coffee. All of these have documented health benefits, and decaf is fine if you need to limit your caffeine intake. An excellent goal for 2012 could be to decrease and then eliminate your consumption of soda! There are no nutritional benefits and research is now indicating that diet soda may be more harmful than regular. That brings us back to water, tea, coffee, juice that’s 100% juice without any added sugar, and milk.
I believe I’ve outlined several good goals to get you started for 2012. Now it’s up to you to adapt these goals to make them yours. Make 2012- Your Year of Health and Wellness! I wish you a year of good health, longevity, wealth, and happiness!