Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Cribbage keeps your brain young...

By KELLY BOTHUM, The News Journal

The average adult human brain weighs about 3 pounds. When compared with our jiggly abs, thighs and arms, it's usually not the first body part we think of to exercise.

But that's exactly what we should be doing, say a growing number of researchers and health professionals who study brain health. These experts believe that by exercising our mind daily, we can slow the development of age-related memory problems and even more serious conditions such as dementia.


And here are some tips:

• Learn a hobby. Don't use getting older as an excuse for not trying a new activity. It's good for your brain to take on new challenges, said Lynn Grattan, director of the Neuropsychological Diagnostic and Research Laboratory at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, in Baltimore.

• Keep a list or calendar of your activities. This helps you stay organized, allowing your brain to work more efficiently.

• Put important items in the same place each time you use them. This includes your keys and other often lost items.

• Play games. Puzzles, word games and brain teasers are good ways to keep your mind engaged.

• Exercise. Studies show people who keep active have fewer memory problems than those who don't.

• Meet new people. Conversations with different people can recharge your mental batteries and give you something to think about.

• Think positively. Grattan said it helps the brain to function more efficiently. Honest.

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