Have you ever forgotten where you put your keys? Where you parked your car? Forgot to grab your wallet on the way out of the house or to send a birthday card to your mother-in-law? Sure you have, who hasn't? To keep our memories sharp and to support normal brain function, mental health experts recommend we regularly exercise our brains with mental workouts.
While age may be a justification for occasional absentmindedness there are other likely reasons why people tend to forget, even among the elderly. One of the foremost reasons is inadequate exercise of our mental capacities. Just as regular consistent physical exercise helps to build and tone muscles, so mental exercises can help to strengthen memory, as well as the cognitive and motor functions of the brain.
Memory and motor skills can be enhanced by stimulation. Experts say that developing mental skills or performing a few cerebral gymnastics every day can help to keep your mental faculties active and promote brain health.
Are you ready for a good workout? Here are a few helpful and easy-to-do mental workouts:
Watch the daily news regularly.
- Be aware of local, world events and current information. Note down the main events.
- At the end of the day, recall what you have heard or at least the major headlines.
- Make a grocery list, but don't use it as soon as you enter the supermarket. Try to remember all the items you have listed and then check the list to see what you may have forgotten.
- Spend 30 minutes to an hour a day solving riddles, crossword puzzles, mind teasers or playing games that require mental alertness such as bridge, Scrabble or chess.
- Avoid a monotonous routine. Monotony can lead to sluggish thinking and lethargy.
- Maintain social relationships. Join a club or a craft class to meet people and keep in touch.
- Become involved, open and interact with other people. The brain is challenged by interacting with other people.
- Exercise daily. The goal is to be active and help support blood circulation. Good circulation maintains a supply of oxygenated blood flow to the brain. It is said that the brain is just 2 percent of our body mass, but it uses 20 percent of the oxygen we breathe. It needs a strong oxygen supply. You can make exercise into a good physical and mental workout by doing fun activities like square dancing!
- Watch less TV. Spending hours in front of the TV is a passive form of entertainment. With the exception of news and educational programs, watching TV leaves the mind in a dulled, neutral position.
- Develop a habit of reading. You may want to start a book club and invite your friends to read a chapter a week and discuss the book.Challenge the brain to keep learning new things. The brain is able to adapt itself and keep learning even as we age. New neurons can grow in old age as well. The main goal is to stimulate the mind and keep it challenged to think. Diet also plays an important part in brain health. Food has a direct relationship to brain performance.
Certain brain foods specifically support healthy functions of the brain.
A few examples are meat, fish, egg yolks, milk and milk products, peanuts, wheat germ, liver and cruciferous vegetables. Herbs and nutrients that support brain health include: Blueberry ExtractThis is an antioxidant that supports healthy cell-to-cell communication.Cognizin®This contains Citicolene, which is a form of Vitamin B. It is a proprietary compound that supports production of energy in the brain.Vitamin B-12It supports the healthy functions of nerve cells and red blood cells. HuperzineThis is an antioxidant that supports cognitivefunctions. VinpocetineThis is a nutrient that supports blood flow to the brain and therefore the brain receives a healthy supply of oxygen.
Admittedly, it is difficult to get a balanced diet of "brain food," everyday. Age, too, can impair the body's ability to digest many of these foods. Nutritional supplements, like Memory Matrix, which contains herbs, antioxidants, nutrients and essential vitamins can support memory, motor and cognitive functions. Supplementation may be the ideal solution for you to ensure your body receives a daily dose of these brain nutrients.