To Your Health! – Page 2

Ways of improving the mind at any age are suggested below – As always, consult your doctor or other health specialist before using this information.

Searching the Internet engages key centers in the brain which control complex reasoning and decision making. But persons with prior Internet experience have 3 times the activation as former non-users. (Reading actually does not activate this particular neural circuitry) Spend about 20 minutes 3 times a week on the Internet researching subjects (even frivolous ones are beneficial).

Aerobic exercise boosts sharpness of thought and the volume of brain tissue. Even 50 minutes of brisk walking 3 times a week expands the brain. However this is more effective in a natural setting of trees, etc. than on city streets.

Brushing (about 2 minutes) and flossing at least once daily and other dental health measures contribute to brain health as well as oral health. Gingivitis and periodontal disease have found to be associated with lessened cognitive function all through adult life (not just in the latter years).

The more alcohol one consumes, the smaller his or her total brain volume becomes. This has been found to be especially true in women (possibly because smaller people are more vulnerable to alcohol’s effects than larger people). No more than 1 drink a day is advised by this source.

Blueberries may help sharpen the mind, probably due to their anti-oxidant effect since blueberries contain anthocyanin (a dark blue pigment which accounts for their color). It apparently has chemicals in it which cross the blood/brain barrier and lodge in areas which govern learning and memory . Note that frozen blueberries are just as effective as fresh ones, making it possible to get this wonderful effect whether they are in season or not.

Puzzles and other brain exercises done in 10 sessions of 60 to 75 minutes each sharpened the brain function of participants so that their mental performance matched that of persons 10 years younger. Start small if you wish, then continue to increase to more and more challenging brain teasers.

Meditation can enhance growth of the cortex which controls memory, language and sensory processing. Those who meditate also performed better in mental acuity tests. Participants meditated 40 minutes a day, but one might start with 15 minutes daily and work up to that. This source advises one to sit upright, close eyes, focus on what is experienced at that moment such as birds chirping or the sound of one’s own breathing. – Birds and breathing are very well, of course. However I prefer to meditate on God’s loving presence and the magnificence of His creation around me as I sit on my back deck facing a beautiful wooded lot.

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