Tuesday, September 4, 2012


In honor of the starting of school, I am posting about exercise today.

Brain exercise.

This is a bit of a stretch, because, to me, exercise is just another mode of self torture. And, my philosophy is to be nice to yourself.

So, why exercise?

Here’s why:

Although we can live without sight, or hearing, or even without the use of our limbs—living with a mushy brain is not a good thing. At all.

If you didn’t already know it, scientists have confirmed that the brain is an amazing thing. [Some days I really wish I were a scientist so that I could make such phenomenal discoveries.] Nonetheless, if we exercise our brains, while our body is getting old and flabby from lack of physical exercise, our brains can stay alert. Through exercise. The great thing about brain exercising is that you don’t have to pay for gym membership, or spend a half hour away from normal activity to do it.

So here are a few tips on increasing your cognitive capacity:

Do things with your non-dominant hand. You can do this at home. So, if you’re right-handed, do some of your daily tasks with your left hand; personal grooming, such as brushing your hair, or teeth; chores around the house, like vacuuming, putting away dishes, and dusting [blech]. Eat one meal a day with your opposite hand. [wear a bib to protect your clothes at first]

Memorize something. You could do this in the car [or bus] on the way to and from work. If you don’t like poems, you can memorize a verse of scripture, a new phone number, people’s names. Do mind-stretching games, like Sudoku or cross-word puzzles. Put together a puzzle. Do math in your head. Re-memorize the multiplication tables.

You get to pick what interests you, but keep it challenging, and be sure to pick something from both areas [non-dominant hand, and memorizing]. Do a variety of things to keep your mind active and challenged. If you only memorize poems, the ‘poem memorizing’ part of your brain will get a lot better, but you want the ‘math knowledge’ part of your brain sharp as well.

If you have time, yoga actually helps stimulate your brain. So I hear.

Then, if you stick to your brain-exercising-plan, you get to reward yourself! Yay! Three scoops of ice cream!!! Oh, I mean three celery sticks and a tablespoon of peanut butter! Yeah.

Here’s to a healthy brain!


Angie said...

Good advice. I know I'd like my brain to stay sharp!

Tina Scott, author, artist said...

Thanks Angie. My mother and many of her siblings had Alzheimer's before they passed away. I'd really like to NOT suffer from that. Brain exercise is a good preventative step.

Tamara said...

Thanks for the post, Tina! We sure miss you at our chapter meetings. I am going to try your tips. And, btw, yoga is great! I just started learning the poses/stretches last month. I'm taking it slow and trying to make it a habit. I don't know about the effects on my brain, but if I feel any smarter, I'll let you know. ha ha!!

Joyce P Smith said...

I do the Sudoku & Cross word & word find puzzles a lot. I also try to keep mind fit by reading and writing ~ but alas I haven't written a poem in a very long time. :O( I understand that physical exercise will also stimulate your brain.

Thanks for the post Tina