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Exercise Your Noodle

Posted on: August 6th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

Getting older is one of the relatively few things in life that is not an “if,” but rather an absolute. It happens to everyone, though how you function as you age may not be the same as another person. We all know that continuing to exercise and eat healthy becomes even more important as our age increases, but we sometimes forget about our mental health.

But how do you go about keeping your brain in “condition?” There are several things you can do throughout the day to help improve your memory, attention, language, visual-spatial and executive brain functions.

  • Memory– try memorizing the lyrics to a song you don’t know. You can also try doing tasks with your opposite or weak hand, such as brushing your teeth.
  • Attention– you can change your route to a common destination, reorganize your desk, or anything else that changes up a normal routine. And doing mental math on that new route can help you concentrate, both on driving and on coming up with the right answer.
  • Language- change up the sections of the newspaper that you read. Reading a business article as opposed to the sports section (or comics) introduces you to new words. You can even easily look up the meaning in an online dictionary if you read your news online.
  • Visual-spatial- walk into a room and pick out five objects and where they’re located. Walk out and try to remember where they were. If that’s too easy, try to remember where they were in two hours.
  •  Executive- engage in a conversation with a friend or two, or play video games such as Solitaire, Mah-Jong, Tetris that make you focus on developing a strategy.

There are also websites, such as Lumosity.com, that give you daily exercises and games to complete to help improve your brain function. We all want to keep a strong mind as we age, and daily mental exercises are the key to doing just that.