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Brain Longevity: What to Do to Keep Your Smarts for the Long Haul

Welcome to the Youth Education Alliance’s blog for brains! In this first segment we are going to discuss what you can do to be sure that your brain stays healthy and working at  its best your entire life.

Research shows that to maintain your mental edge throughout your life, you must train your brain!  When your brain learns a challenging new skill, it literally rewires itself creating thousands of new connections.  To stay healthy you must form a habit of lifelong learning.  This will slow down or eliminate the decline in mental acuity typical of old age.  For those of you who want to avoid the decline and stay sharp, we present: YEA! Youth Education Alliance’s suggestions for maximum brain fitness.

You know you’re building connections when you are physically or cognitively challenging yourself, the task should be difficult but achievable with practice (very easy tasks do not actually help your brain build its connections).

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS:

1.  Switch hands on everyday movements (use your opposite hand):

a. Brush your teeth or hair

b. Dial the phone

c. Operate your computer mouse

2.  Involve your whole body in a new skill

a. Learn a sport

b. Learn yoga, tai chi, etc

c. Sculpt (or play with clay, especially good for children)

3.  Travel

a. Taking a vacation is good for your brain, the novel area allows you to navigate in a strange place as well as interact with new cultures, and you are relaxing too! All  brain friendly activities!

4.  Hone Your Senses

a.  Do simple tasks that incorporate more than one sense at a time

–  Get dressed; brush your teeth or hair with your eyes closed

–  Communicate using visual cues only (no words)

–  Listen to music while smelling flowers or incense

5.  Change your routines

–  Take a different path to work

–  Order different meals at your favorite restaurants

–  Shop at a different grocery or clothing store

6.  Read regularly & play word games

–  scrabble

–  crosswords

–  bingo

–  learn a new language

The most important thing to remember is that your brain is a muscle; you must give it daily exercise to keep it healthy!

Join us next time when we discuss exercise and diet and how your habits in these areas shape not only your brain, but the brains of our children as well.

 

posted by samantha in Understanding the Human Brain and have No Comments

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