Enhancing Your Brain Power
Vanity is one of societies strong points and that's why a lot of time and money is spent on physical appearances.
How About the Brain?
Have you ever heard the term "brain drain?"
Our brain has an enormous capacity for calculation, reasoning, and memory. The brain is a fascinating organ that does millions of functions; many of which we don't even know how it works.
The brain is a mighty workhorse that we take for granted, but without it we wouldn't be here discussing this or any subject.
The field of neuroscience is just beginning to understand some of the physiological foundations of how we learn. Neurons are cells specially adapted to communicate with each other. Everything we experience is reflected in the brain by neurons which communicate to form what are called neural networks.
Changing, strengthening and creating new neural networks tends to get more difficult with age. There are studies connecting dementia with certain cholesterol drugs which lower cholesterol, but starve the brain from getting the HDL it needs.
As we age we get brain stagflation and tend to slip into inactivity. We must be aware our brain needs training and exercise more than ever due to the natural deterioration that takes place.
The following are a few general changes that occur in our brain as we age:
- Brain mass shrinks
- Outer surface thins
- White matter decreases
- Chemical messengers decrease
You hear so much about anti-aging as it pertains to physical appearances, but more importantly we must pay closer attention to keeping our brain in shape as we age.
As with any part of the body the brain has it's share of diseases. Contributors to the natural aging process are drugs, stress, toxins, and bad habits.
The following are specific brain diseases:
- Alzheimer - this disease is the most common form of dementia, and it is among the most feared of all illnesses.
- Parkinson - this disease is a movement disorder that occurs when brain cells that make the chemical messenger called dopamine die over time.
- Stroke - or “brain attack,” occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted.
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)—also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease—is a rare condition in which nerve cells in parts of the brain die, leading to loss of muscle movement control.
- Huntington’s disease - is a rare inherited condition that causes involuntary movements, severe emotional disturbances, and a decline in mental functions.
The following agencies and organizations can be of great help if you or a family member suffer from one of these brain diseases.
American Parkinson Disease Association
Tel: (888) 400-2732
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (formerly National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association)
Tel: (800) 826-3632
Fax: (312) 642-7243
Family Caregiver Alliance
Tel: (415) 434-3388
Fax: (415) 434-3508
Huntington's Disease Society of America
Tel: (800) 345-4372
Fax: (212) 239-3430
Alliance for Aging Research
Tel: (202) 293-2856
Fax: (202) 785-8574
The ALS Association Tel: (800) 782-4747 Fax: (818) 880-9006 www.alsa.org
Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center
American Chronic Pain Association
Tel: (916) 632-0922
Fax: (916) 632-3208
Now that we understand why we need to exercise our brain and what happens if we don't - what's next? What methods do we use to do brain training and how do we maintain brain fitness.
Here are a few ideas to start your brain training workout:
- Challenge - experiences which typically push the brain to grow (or at least not shrink as fast).
- Exercise - not only good for your body but your head as well. Regular aerobic exercise is even capable of stimulating the formation of new neurons.
- Relax - find ways (deep breathing, meditation) to reduce stress, the hormones are damaging to the brain.
- Diet - your metabolism is changing, we need all the good oxygen and blood to the brain we can get.
- Brain Guard - T.V., news, guard against the junk you are exposing you brain to, this not only triggers emotions but can disturb sleep. Your brain is a recorder that can playback anytime, we forget what our brain takes in affects our attitude and emotions good or bad.
- Brain Games - Reclaim Your Brain: Improve Memory with Lumosity Games..These games are specifically designed to improve brain memory, alertness and concentration.
Brain Training With Lumosity
Now that you have a better understanding of why you need to exercise your brain, the next step is how?
There is one resource that has figured out how to efficiently "work-out" your brain muscle - it's called "Lumosity."
Lumosity users have experienced:
- Clearer and quicker thinking
- Improved memory for names, numbers, directions, etc.
- Increased alertness and awareness
- Elevated mood
- Better concentration at work or while driving
It only takes about a half-hour a day to do some of the exercises; build it into your daily routine.
Think about how much junk you force your brain to absorb, isn't it time to reclaim your brain? You will improve memory and get those "brain gears" moving freely again with Lumosity Games.