Thursday, September 19, 2013

Give Your Brain a Work Out

Your brain might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “exercise.” However, the truth is that it can benefit from a good workout too. Studies have indicated that various brain exercises can boost brain health as you get older and also help prevent memory loss. Different activities that encourage mental stimulation may improve the areas of memory, reasoning and ability to process information more quickly.

How does it work? According to some animal studies, the mental stimulation supports new nerve cell growth and prompts communication between nerve cells. It can even decrease some of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, such as proteins and plaques seen with the disease.

There are many ways to challenge your brain, ranging from simple to complex.

  • Eat with your nondominant hand: Switching things up while doing this typically easy task makes your brain work harder.
  • Do puzzles: Puzzles, by definition, are designed to test the user’s ingenuity and knowledge.
  • Play memory games or board and card games with friends or family: These can help keep your memory in tip-top shape. The socialization is an added bonus!
  • Take up a new hobby: Challenging yourself to learn something new, perhaps how to speak a new language or play a musical instrument can be a tricky, yet fun and rewarding, way to boost brain health.
  • Do research: Something as simple as perusing the Web or reading the paper helps you absorb new facts and can inspire curiosity.
  • Read and write: These tasks require thought and concentration, which will help keep you sharp in the long run.
  • Consider adopting a Mediterranean diet: this diet, which is also heart-healthy, consists of olive oil, vegetables, fruit and fish, and may have some positive impacts on brain health.
  • Get your exercise: physically active adults may be less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who do not exercise. 

Want to know more about this topic? Register for the next Time for Me! women’s health lecture on Tuesday, October 1, 2013! Dr. Michael Sellman, Chief of the Division of Neurology at GBMC, will discuss brain health and share tips for keeping your brain fit. 

Time for Me! lectures are FREE to attend, but please register at


  1. Hi,

    My name is Emily and I had a quick question about your blog. If you get a chance could you please email me at emilywalsh688@gmail(dot)com. Thanks!


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