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Try these exercises, appearing on Franklin Institute's website: http://www.fi.edu/brain/exercise.html
Switch hands: Use the opposite hand for, say, writing your name or brushing your teeth. Does it feel weird? Awkward? It should. Your brain is learning something new and getting stronger with it.
Think about it: You can think about exercising a part of your body and help your brain improve its ability to signal muscles to act.
Experience something new: Do something you've never done before, such as learning to play chess or enrolling in a yoga class. It gives the brain a good workout.
Travel: Getting away from your usual routine and experiencing new places can help stimulate your brain.
It takes a little bit of work to keep your memory active as you age. Find out how to keep it sharp as Dr. Oz offers tips on preserving memory in this video.
Physical exercise is like a natural wonder drug for your brain and body. It gets your heart to pump life-giving blood into your brain, supplying more oxygen, glucose and nutrients that your brain needs to function at its best. The benefits of exercise are tremendous:
- it encourages the growth of new brain cells
- it enhances cognitive ability
- it improves your mood, calms anxiety and helps alleviate depression
- it fends off cognitive decline while it helps prevent, delay and lessen the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- it enhances the ability of insulin to prevent high blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of diabetes
- it burns fat
- it helps ward off osteoporosis, breast cancer and colon cancer
- it improves muscle tone and endurance, which lowers the risk of fall accidents
- it reduces the symptoms of ADD
- it improves sleep
- it can help women better cope with hormonal issues
- it reduces the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.
That’s a lot of benefit just for putting aside an hour four or more times a week to get your body moving. Plus, once you get over any initial resistance, it feels great. And those positive feelings seem to spill over into other areas of your life, where you start making healthier choices. People who are more physically active are also more likely to eat brain-healthy foods, get more and better quality sleep, seek out health-minded social support systems and just take better care of themselves in general.
I believe three of the best things that you can do to keep your mind and memory sharp are: reading, puzzles (crossword, Sudoku, scrabble, etc.), and exercise. Exercise has shown time and again to boost mental function and alertness.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.