Tuesday, August 6, 2013

10 Brain Health Tips & Exercises!

Not feeling as alert as you used to? Forgetting things too?
Below you will learn some awesome ways to maintain your brain and keep it fit!

1. Eat (dark) chocolate: 
When you eat chocolate, you activate the systems in your brain that pump dopamine, an important brain chemical. These systems enable learning and memory, and help keep your brain sharp and fit.
2. Drink Water:
 Dehydration may actually contribute to poor concentration, inhibited memory, and limited focus abilities. This is due, in part, to the fact that your brain needs water. Water fills up as much as 90% of your brain. In short, drinking 6-8 eight ounce glasses of water each day helps to prevent strain on your brain. Water can also help get your brain going before staff meetings, presentations, and classes. In addition, water keeps your brain thinking clearly through stressful situations.  
3. Peaceful Sleeping:
 Six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep helps to compile the details of learning for the day. Peaceful sleep also provides you with ample energy and focus to maintain attention to intellectual topics the next day.
4. Brain Games:
 There are brain games like Lumosity you can play from your PC or play on your iPhone or iPad that may improve short-term memory and are completely free. There are also board games, card games and puzzles that may help keep your mind agile.  Engaging your mind in games can help keep your mind sharp. 
5. Meditation:
 Bringing your attention to your breath through meditation for five to ten minutes each day can help you relax. This type of calming can clear your mind. Deep breathing provides more oxygen for your blood and stimulation for your brain.
6. Exercise:
Exercise allows your body to process oxygen much more quickly and efficiently throughout your brain and body. In doing so, exercise helps to protect the health of your brain cells because cells require oxygen to thrive. Some of the latest research shows that exercise triggers new connections in nerve cells of the brain and can lead to the growth of new cells.  Movement alone can wake up the brain.
7. Connect with Music:
Singing exercises your right brain for improved problem-solving and pattern recognition. In fact, people who stutter often stop stuttering when they sing. Developing better habits of careful listening will help you in your understanding, thinking and remembering. Reconstructing the song requires close attentional focus and an active memory. When you focus, you release the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a brain chemical that enables plasticity and vivifies memory.
8. Proper Nutrition:
 Proper nutrition balances hormones and chemicals in the brain. Foods that stimulate brain power are filled with vitamins B12, B6, C and Vitamin E, as well as, folate, calcium, potassium and magnesium, and betacarotene. Foods containing these ingredients can enhance your brain’s function and memory, including: milk, orange juice, vegetable juice, spinach, black-eyed peas, acorn squash, salmon, baked potato, and banana.  A bit of honey, with its anti-oxidant properties for the aging brain, may help to inhibit free radical damage to cells.  It’s also critical to stay away from foods that are known to hinder your brain, including: artificial sweeteners, corn syrup, high-sugar drinks and foods, hydrogenated fats, and white-flour products.
9. Learn Something New:
 Reviewing and reflecting on new information can stimulate your brain. It is easier to retain new information when associating the new information with prior knowledge about the relational topic. Consider writing down connecting points which can reinforce new memories.
10. Use Your Other Hand:
If you're right-handed, use your left hand for daily activities (or vice-versa). Start with brushing your teeth left-handed, and practice until you have perfected it. Then try to build your way up to more complex tasks, such as eating. Doing such an activity can drive your brain to make positive changes. Think of millions of neurons learning new tricks as you finally establish better control of that other hand!

Use what you will from the list above.
Challenge yourself to one or more a day and see for yourself.
Your brain will thank you!


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