Bonjour mes amis,
As you probably know, as we age it is essential to exercise the brain as well as the body as, contrary to popular belief, we continue to create new brain cells throughout our entire lives.
A healthy diet coupled with both physical and mental exercise is vital for our physical and mental well-being and can increase the blood flow to the brain helping to enhance brain function.
And research shows that mental exercise can stimulate the growth of new brain cells to improve cognitive health.
There are a zillion enjoyable ways to exercise your brain including games such as sudoku, crosswords etc and there are now lots of apps available to provide you with mental challenges each day, such as Lumosity (one of my favourites) which offers brain training created and engineered by scientists and game designers.
Personally, I love to do all of the above as well as memorising facts and figures … here, for example, is a very interesting quote from Dr Daniel Amen, author of ‘Healing the Hardware of the Soul’ and ‘Use Your Brain to Change Your Age’:
“Dried oregano has thirty times the brain healing antioxidant power of raw blueberries, forty-six times more than apples, and fifty-six times as much as strawberries, making it one of the most powerful brain cell protectors on the planet”.
I didn’t know this. Surely this should be common knowledge?
I confess I am also absolutely addicted to the game of Plakoto, a form of Backgammon played in Greece, taught to me by my dear friend Pothos who downloaded it onto my phone for me so I can play anytime – and I play every single day. The object of the game is for each of the two players to bring all their pieces round to their own home board and then bear them off. The player who bears off all of his pieces first obviously wins the game.
And fortunately, I’ve always enjoyed studying and learning which is why I have decided to take an online course in French to refresh my incredibly rusty French skills which I have not used in more than thirty years.
I’ve just enrolled for a twelve month course, and the lessons are each 15 – 30 minutes with a test at the end of each lesson, so I hope to be fluent by the end of the course. I’ve only taken three tests so far but am already enjoying it and actually find it quite relaxing at the end of a busy day.
So I would say that all of the above, which I have chosen to participate in, are really enjoyable for me and not a chore at all and perhaps that is the secret to establishing a good brain exercise regimen, to choose things which you love to do and will look forward to doing.
Find what works for you and enjoy, it will SO be worth it later on down the road.