Tag Archive: exercise

  1. 10 Tips to Improve Your Memory

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    Walk into a room and forget why you came?  Can’t recall the name of the new neighbor you just met yesterday?  You are not alone. We all forget things from time to time. Yet, memory loss can be a more serious condition.  While there is not an iron-clad solution to prevent memory loss or dementia, there are a number of brain fitness tips to reduce our risk and improve our memory function.  Try these ten simple tips to boost your memory.   Talk with your doctor when you feel you need help.

    No. 1: Exercise your body

    Physical exercise is still the number one thing you can do for your brain.  When we exercise, oxygen and blood flow to the brain increase which helps to support improvements in short-term memory function and retrieval of information.  Aim to break a sweat every day.

    No. 2: Exercise your mind

    Cross-training is the best way to improve memory function. On Monday, dive into a new book.  On Tuesday, play 15 minutes of brain games.  Try Making Curfew on BrainSpade.com to challenge your visual memory skills.  Continue to tackle new challenges for the remainder of the week – card games, board games, or even trying a new recipe are all part of keeping your memory fit.

    No. 3: Keep it Social

    Maintaining social relationships helps to reduce stress levels and depression, both of which are major contributors to memory decline. Make plans to spend time with friends and family.

    No. 4: De-Clutter

    Forgetting things can be more of a problem if your home is in disarray. Organize papers and throw away things that aren’t needed.  Get in the habit of putting your keys and other important items in the same place each day.

    No. 5: Stop Multi-Tasking

    Resist the urge of tackling multiple tasks at once.  Multi-tasking elevates stress which can hinder memory function. Divide your day into chunks and concentrate for periods of time before stopping to do other things.

    No. 6: Turn Up the Music

    Studies show that listening to music can improve our ability to recall information.  Choose music that lifts your spirits and add that into the mix when you are exercising, cleaning, or working on something familiar.

    No. 7: Eat Your Veggies

    A diet rich in dark-green leafy vegetables is essential for keeping your memory strong.  Find creative ways to add more greens to your diet.  Look for green smoothie recipes as a start.  Dr. Oz has an excellent spinach smoothie which is actually quite tasty: Dr. Oz’s Green Drink.

    No. 8: Spice Things Up

    Countries like India that incorporate a variety of spices into their daily diet, show a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s and other dementia related illnesses.  Look for new recipes and menu options that incorporate spices like cumin, cinnamon and ginger into your diet.

    No. 9: Drink Up

    Are you staying fully hydrated?  Our brain is made up of 75% water.  By the time you feel thirsty, you are already a bit dehydrated.   If you don’t enjoy drinking water consider dropping in fresh lemon, basil or cucumber.  Herbal tea is a great option too.

    No. 10: BrainSpade.com

    We would be remiss if we didn’t share that our team of clinicians are hard at work developing new brain exercises and brain teasers to keep your mind sharp, challenge your memory, and boost your spirit. Remember to make Brain Games part of your daily routine.

  2. 9 Tips for Training Your Brain Today

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    While nothing has been shown to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, there is abundant research showing we can delay the onset of mental decline by building a brain-healthy lifestyle.  Here are some tips to training your brain today.

    1.  Sleep. Sleep defragments your brain and organizes information you’ve learned during the day.

    2.  Focus. Quit the multi-tasking. It not only lowers your productivity but it may increase your risk for dementia when you are older.

    3.  Exercise in small bursts. Take the stairs. Walk the block. Try a tango class. Exercise is still the number one thing you can do for your brain.

    4.  Play games. Games are good for your brain and variety is key. When you tackle new problems, you form new neural pathways.

    5.  Meditate. No tie-dye T-shirt required. Clear your mind and focus on positive things.

    6.  Make time for fun. Laughter enhances creativity and lowers stress. Your brain thrives on fun.

    7.  Drink more fluids. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already slightly dehydrated.

    8.  Target your working memory. Make a point to push yourself to store details quickly. Work on names and faces to start.

    9.  Be aware that your brain makes mistakes. When solving a problem, ask yourself what the big picture really looks like. Are you afraid of change? Experiment more.

  3. 3 More Reasons to Walk

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    Walking is the most popular form of exercise.  No question, it’s great for heart health and weight management.  But walking has a number of other health benefits that will have you lacing up your sneakers and heading for the door.

    Walk to Protect Against Dementia
    Walking improves blood flow to the brain which can reduce your risk of dementia.  University of Pittsburgh researchers found that seniors who walked at least 6 miles per week had less brain shrinkage than people who did not exercise.

    Walk to Lift Your Mood

    Regular brisk walks not only help improve your mood, they may also reduce symptoms of depression.  Walking with a friend is a great way to stick to your workout routine.

    Walk to Manage Chronic Pain
    Sounds strange perhaps, but walking can actually reduce pain from arthritis.  An Australian study noted that people that walked just 1.5 miles three times each week reported that they had less pain and felt better in general.

    Tip – Download some upbeat tunes to your Ipod.  Studies show that listening to fast music helps boost endurance and effort.

  4. Searching for Brain Games

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    Have you been searching for some really good (and free) brain games?  The wait is over.  Our team at Brain Spade has spent two years looking at what’s available and how games match up with the latest in neuroscience.   Doctors and researchers agree on a few important points when it comes to brain games.  First, change is what’s good for your brain.  Our human brain benefits from a variety of brain training experiences.   New and different types of games focused in areas like memory, problem-solving, speed, and concentration provide a well-rounded workout.

    Studies show that brain games are just one piece of building a brain-healthy lifestyle.  Exercise, nutrition, sleep and stress management are important too.  At Brain Spade, we provide lifestyle tips to help you optimize your brain’s performance.

    Staff’s Picks 

    • Lights OutAn exciting visual memory matching game. 
    • Brain Teasers – Just click on the brain teaser tab at the top for some real stumpers.
    • Double Digits – Reignite your math skills and boost your concentration level.
    • Sugar Sugar – Outside the box thinking has never been more fun.

    Remember that when searching for brain games on the web to look for variety.   Spend time with games that you find challenging.  In just 15 minutes a day you can truly begin to elevate your brain’s level of performance.  And remember, brain games are just one important part of building an overall healthy lifestyle.  Taking a walk, calling an old friend, and even learning to tango can also work wonders for the human brain!

  5. 5 Ways to Boost Memory Function in Adults

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    “I’m concerned about my memory.”

    Perhaps you are walking into rooms and forgetting why you came.   Or maybe, you find words getting stuck on the tip of your tongue.  Whatever the frustration may be, there are things you can do to support and build stronger memory skills.

    1)      Exercise – When you walk or workout aerobically, you are sending much needed oxygen and blood to the brain.  This helps to optimize your memory function and your overall cognitive skills.

    2)      Socialize – Surprisingly, studies have found that staying socially connected can help improve your verbally fluency skills and support memory skills.

    3)      Play Games – Simple games you might play with your children like Memory Match are a good start.   Brain games are a great way to challenge your memory.  Lights Out is a great game to get started.

    4)      Read – Read and discuss what you read with others.  Reading sends a steady stream of new information your mind for processing and storage.   Find things that interest you and dive in.

    5)      Eat More Fish – Fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids such as trout, tuna and salmon help support memory.  New studies reveal that fish-oil supplements can improve working memory significantly in young adults.

    Most memory problems are mild annoyances that can be improved through mental exercises and lifestyle habits.  If you have serious concerns about your memory, or your family members are expressing concerns please contact your physician.

  6. The Fork versus The Treadmill

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    When time is short… it can be tempting to skip working out.  We don’t have time. We get bored with the same exercise program. An unexpected event happens, and we’re left feeling drained.

    Sound familiar?

    When faced with these scenarios remember:  The fork is more important than the treadmill. You heard right.  When you miss a few workouts, your nutrition program becomes a key factor in determining whether you start heading down a slippery slope or just encounter a small stumbling block.

    What we put in our mouths affects our energy level, mood, and sleep patterns.  Most people gravitate toward sugar, salt and processed food when they fall off the exercise wagon, making their derailment much worse.  They develop an “all or nothing” mentality.

    Sticking to protein, good fats, and plenty of vegetables will keep you in check during these times.  And when you feel good about your food choices you will be more likely to get back up on your “horse” (or treadmill, bike, weights, yoga, etc.) again much sooner.

    Article by Lisa Lineberg, Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist,  BS in Exercise Physiology

  7. Brain Benefits of Sweating

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    The business world is driven by stress.  The more pressure to succeed, the more stress seems to accompany it.  Research consistently indicates that exercise combats stress and is a key component to sound physical and mental health.  It’s clear to see how exercise helps us physically; while the mental benefits of exercise are not always tangible, it is important to understand that your brain benefits from sweating.

    Sweating through an effective exercise program provides wonderful health benefits for your brain, these include:

    *  Relieving Stress and Depression.  Research confirms that 30 to 40 minutes of daily exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, hormone that lifts depression and minimizes the harmful mental and physical effects of stress.

    *  Making You Smarter.  In addition to lifting stress and depression, sweating increases your brain capacity, actually making you smarter.  During exercise, growth hormones are released throughout the body.  These hormones stimulate connection pathways in the brain, making it easy to recall, retain and store important information.

    *  Improved confidence, mood and self-image.  While sweating improves your physical and mental health, it also improves your emotional health too.  Simply sweating for 30 minutes each day leads to improved self-esteem; a happier, more peaceful disposition; and a healthier overall outlook on life.  These mental and emotional improvements result in a more effective, more productive and happier you!

    Article by Michael Healey