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Brain Power

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AARP’s December 2017 edition of Bulletin is about how to Boost Your Brain Power.

Here are some key research finding regarding boosting your cognitive reserve:

  • Activity –  brisk walking for 40 minutes four times a week, increases bloodflow to the regions of the brain shown able to grow new cells.
  • Eat a Mediterranean Diet and maintain good gut bug flora.
  • Mindfulness – pay attention to what you’re doing. Meditation, yoga, a walk in the woods: focus your mind and relax. This may build clearer memories. Unplug and don’t let your smartphone hijack your attention span.
  • Watch your numbers – keep cholesterol and blood pressure numbers in acceptable range; limit sugars and prevent or treat diabetes.
  • Don’t smoke tobacco.
  • Don’t fall and get a head injury.
  • Prioritize sleep.
  • Learn something new – remain curious and continue to grow as a person.
  • Socialize – Don’t live alone and party with others to avoid depression.

Cognitive reserve is “the combination of a person’s innate abilities and the additional brainpower that comes from challenging the mind. Studies show that diverse, mentally stimulating tasks result in more brain cells, more robust connections among those cells, and a greater ability to bypass age- or disease-related trouble spots in the brain. The more you work your mind, the greater your cognitive reserve. And the greater your reserve, the greater your ability to withstand the inevitable challenges of aging.”

Unfortunately, there is no pill or procedure to help you maintain your memories (yet). Forget digital-brain-games and don’t sweat using antiperspirants with aluminum. Vitamin supplements such as E and Ginsing won’t help either and the efficacy of Prevagin is questionable.

Check out Brainblogger for the Best and Worst of Neuroscience and Neurology.

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