The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How to Keep Your Brain in Shape

African American Brain

Yes, the brain needs exercise! It's like all the other parts of your body. If you don't take care of it, it won't function well. In fact, the brain is a muscle, and muscles need exercise or they will become weak.

So, how do you train a brain? Here are some simple ways:

#1 - Don't vegetate in front of the TV - According to Nielsen, the average American spends more than 34 hours a week watching television, and another three to six hours watching taped programs. While it's true there are many good educational programs on TV, watching TV does not push or train your brain to learn.

#2 - Challenge your brain - the more you use your brain in a challenging way, the better it will work. Try playing challenging games like Chess, word games like Scrabble, or do crossword puzzles and sudoku. Help your children with their math problems. Instead of using a calculator, add numbers on your own. All these activities require more thought and, therefore, stimulate the brain.

#3 - Eat a healthy breakfast - good healthy food at the beginning of the day will actually improve your memory and attention, in addition to providing more energy throughout the day which will help you focus on work.

#4 - Stay active - a study of patients in a retirement home showed that patients who engaged in reading books, playing board games and musical instruments and even taking dance lessons were less likely to get dementia and were healthier physically, emotionally and socially.

#5 - Brain-training games - there are several on the market today, such as Nintendo Brain Training, and Apple Brain Challenge, that many people think helps keep their minds sharper. There is also a product called Lumosity, developed by a company in California. It's an online brain training program that includes almost 40 games designed to improve memory, attention, flexibility, speed of processing, and problem solving.

The key to keeping the brain healthy and alert is to keep it active. Be sure to try different types of games and exercises so your mind has a chance to learn a variety of skills. There is no such thing as a miracle cure, but staying both physically and mentally active is one way you can help keep yourself in shape as you grow older.
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.
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