LIFESTYLES by Ronda Gates Weekly Message
Weekly Gems from Ronda Gates.

Brain Power

Have you ever walked into a room and wondered why you are there? Have you ever faced someone you've known for years and couldn't remember his/her name? How many times have you forgotten where you parked your car?

These scenarios happen to almost everyone. It doesn't mean you are developing Alzheimer's or some other memory-robbing disease. Chances are your brain is having a lazy spell.

Researchers use PET (Positron Emission Tomorgraphy) scans to study the differences between the metabolism of younger and older brains. Although there were variations more often in older people studied, some men in their eighties had exactly the same brain metabolism as much younger men, while some younger men showed the changes usually observed in older brains.

You have probably heard that we use only a fraction of our brain's capacity. That is hard to believe when we're standing in the middle of the mall garage looking to the left and right with no clue of which way to go.

The good news is that just as you can change your exercise and diet habits to get your body in shape you can also do much to restore and maintain your mental fitness and memory. After you've had your thorough medical checkup, visit your pharmacy with a list of all the medications you take. It's surprising how many over the counter medications and prescription drugs can affect cognition. Common offenders include drugs to treat high blood pressure, ulcers, colds, allergies, insomnia and allergies. Beyond that, here are my five favorite strategies to build brain cells:

  • Exercise-for brain power choose exercise that has you move and learn at the same time. For example, dancing is good for coordination and square dancing is even better because you have to move to the music while following the announcer's instructions
  • Put away your calculator. My associates go nuts when I do calculations in my head. This habit that I developed during long car trips in childhood exercises my memory and plays to my strong suit of visual learning. I can "see" the numbers in my head. If you are a auditory learner, repeat information you want to remember often or tape it and play it back.
  • Learn something new. It will develop both sides of the brain and give you a sense of accomplishment. Learning a foreign language is great brain exercise.
  • Memorize something each day. One of my favorite gifts was a word a day calendar that challenges me to use the new word in a sentence before the end of the day. The more I use my brain the more I seem able to remember
  • Don't hang out with energy vampires. I go out of my way to avoid spending time with people who criticize or discourage me from my innate ability to be creative. When I leave someone's company I ask myself, "Do I feel better or worse as a result of the time I spent with that person?" I've a slogan on my computer that says, "Don't hang out with anyone who makes you feel lesser than-even if it means you have to leave the love of your life."

Summing it up, your brain is like your muscles. Use it or lose it!

Weekly Messages Lifestyles

LIFESTYLES by Ronda Gates
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Mesa, AZ 85206
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