It’s Time To Train Your Brain – Keeping Alzheimer’s at Bay

Train your brain, why?  It’s a use it or lose it situation.  Just like with our muscles, if we don’t use them we lose them.  If you don’t do exercises to keep your muscles strong your muscles will atrophy.  Your brain is the same way.  If you don’t do anything to exercise it, it can atrophy.

Do you always brush your teeth with the same hand?  How about eating and drinking – that same hand?  Do you always take the same route to work?  Answering yes to any of these questions reveals how repetitive and routine your daily lives may have become.  Should you be concerned about that?  Yes.  Why?  Before I explain, try and brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand, or eat your breakfast with it.  For most it will feel quite awkward, and make you feel that you have to really think about what you’re doing.   That “having to think about it” part is what our brains need, because doing things out of routine, or repetitive tasks that are easy don’t challenge or exercise our minds.  So what am I saying?  It’s time to train your brain!

No worries, you won’t have to spend more time in the gym – you can lie in bed, sit in front of the computer or even lounge by the pool and do brain exercises.

Even just changing up your daily routine, brushing your teeth with your opposite hand, and taking a new route to work on occasions will help to challenge your mind and therefore exercise it.  Sudoko, crossword puzzles, logic and math problems are all great brain exercises you can do as well.  Anything that makes you think, is brain exercise.

Your brain has several different areas with several different functions it performs.  Ideally, to work more areas of the brain you want to do a variety of exercises to work as many different areas as possible.

The 3 principles are novelty, variety, and constant challenge.  Your brain is like your body, in that it needs cross-training – different exercises to work the different parts of your brain.  Neuro psychologists recommend computer based brain exercise software for the increased variety, and their ability to increase the level of challenge.

Did you know that yoga has been shown to help delay the onset and help reverse symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease?  Yoga has become a top alternative choice to help with people that have Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s pretty amazing.  It’s also been shown that physical exercise helps to increase the rate of new neurons (brain cells) in your brain.  Then it’s up to the amount of mental strengthening exercises you do to determine how long those new cells live.  The short term benefits of performing these mind building exercises are increased ability to concentrate, improvements in memory, and mental clarity under stress.

The long term benefits are that it creates a “brain reserve,” which protects you against potential problems such as Alzheimer’s disease. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to get a start on training my brain right away – I don’t want to lose it, in more ways than one.