It’s Brain Awareness Week – Maximize Your Brain Health

It’s Brain Awareness Week – Maximize Your Brain Health

It’s Brain Awareness Week.  How can you and your loved-ones maximize your brain health?  According to neurobiologist, Dr. Lawrence C. Katz, “Giving our brain new experiences that combine physical senses – sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch – with emotional “sense” stimulates more connections between different brain areas, causes nerve cells to produce natural brain nutrients that dramatically help memory, and makes surrounding cells stronger and more resistant to the effects of aging.”  Brain activities, exercises and games are vital for everyone.  Below are some of the many daily activities, exercises and games that are known to stimulate the brain.

 

Daily Activities:

Brush teeth and use your fork with your non-dominant hand

Smell the coffee and more:

  • Smell a different extract each day
  • Boil water with cloves – it makes the house smell wonderful and excites your brain

Change your normal routine:

  • Drive a different route to the supermarket, doctor’s office, community center, church, school
  • If you are a passenger in a car, look outside for a story to tell eg. someone walking their dog could be a spy or a construction site an archeological dig
  • Reverse the way you regularly walk the dog or walk to visit a neighbor
  • Watch a children’s TV show like Sesame Street even when your grandchildren are not around
  • Switch seats at meals and when meeting friends

Read, write and view differently:

  • Read aloud with your companion or friend; take turns reading as your brain reacts differently
  • Write down lyrics from memory of a favorite song
  • Listen to your favorite song in another language
  • Look at holiday cards and photos upside down

Games

“Anytime” games and exercises include:

  • Sudoku and Crossword puzzles (NY Times, LA Times
  • Games and puzzles – including Chess; Backgammon; board games such as Scrabble; card games such as Bridge, Hearts, Pinochle, Poker, Gin Rummy Euchre; Mahjong, Dominos; Checkers, Chinese Checkers, Parcheesi; Concentration (using the game or a deck of cards), Hangman

Exercises and Hobbies

Be creative:

  • Paint (Grandma Moses started painting at 78 and painted thousands of paintings),
  • Write poetry, short stories, write or dictate family history
  • Play an instrument
  • Sing in a group

Knit, make quilts, build children’s toys and doll houses

Take a college course; learn a new language

Take a cooking class – good for men too!

Draw a map from memory

Draw your favorite pet from memory

Do math in your head

Make a list and memorize it, an hour later try to recall the items

When eating or drinking try to identify the ingredients including herbs and spices

 

These are just a few of the many activities you and your loved-ones can do to maximize your brain.  Your and their quality of life depends on it.