to Keep Your Brain Sharp!
It is now widely believed that memory exercises are vital to maintaining a good memory. Together with a healthy brain diet, regular exercise, avoiding stress and good quality sleep they can improve memory and maintain brain health.
To understand why, it’s important to know how the brain
acquires, stores and recalls information.
- The brain acquires knowledge when we concentrate. It’s important to focus intently or the information will not be captured and we will forget.
- If we have focused enough, a signal will be sent within the brain to store this information as long term memory. This happens easily if we enjoy the information or know something about it already.
- When we want to recall that information the brain has to use the same pattern of nerve cells it used to store it. The more often you need the information the easier it is to retrieve along healthy nerve cell connections.
Use It or Lose It!
Some researchers believe that we are more likely to suffer from dementia when the brain is passive. Sitting in front of the TV for hours on end could be damaging our brain health. The brain wants to learn new things so we should avoid boredom at all costs.
Just as we use exercise and weights to improve our physical health so we can perform regular targeted memory exercises to increase learning and memory skills.
What To Do!
Memory exercises should offer something new and challenging and should be fun to do. A good place to begin is your daily newspaper. Crosswords, sudoku, word games and picture puzzles provide an excellent workout for the brain.
But also learning a new sport, a new language, taking a course in cooking, painting or some other craft. Choose things where you can involve as many senses as possible, sight, smell, hearing, feeling and motoric skills. Challenge your brain to hone skills and learn new strategies, tactics or vocabulary. You will be surprised how easy it gets and your brain cells will thank you for it!
We know what to do but..
Do we do what we know?
We all know that we can take steps to prevent us putting on too much weight. We know we can do a lot to prevent heart disease and many other illnesses…
We now know that we can
improve our memory using diet, sleep, physical and brain exercises and possibly delay age related decline of brain cells and memory.
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