I recently read a book titled Still Alice that was the story of a professional women who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease in her 50’s. This is a book I highly recommend. See my review here: http://www.sincerelystacie.com/2009/08/review-still-alice-by-lisa-genova/

The book got me thinking about my own brain. How many times have I gone into a room to get something only to get there and completely forget what I went in their for? How many times have I gone to the sink to get the water pitcher to water the plants only to instead do the dishes, wipe the counters, put dishes away and go the whole rest of the day without ever watering the plants? What about calling someone and in the time it takes for that person to answer you have forgotten who you called and why? Now, I don’t think I have Alzheimer’s, but instead maybe at times a little maxed out. I am sure everyone has had one of these situations happen to them at some point. Memory lapses are a normal part of daily life. But, there are things you can do to improve your cognitive skills and keep that brain working.

1. Learn Something New: try learning a new language, playing a musical instrument, learning how to knit, or taking an art class or even a cake decorating class.
2. Physical Exercise: Exercise may be the best thing for your brain because it increases the blood supply to the brain and more oxygen means a happier brain.
3. Good Food: Food rich in antioxidants may be good for your brain. Some examples: blueberries, red kidney beans, pinto beans, cranberries, raspberries, apples, pecans, russet potatoes, blackberries, walnuts, hazelnuts, and cinnamon.
4. Play Brain Games: A study showed that people who do crosswords are two and half times less likely to develop memory disorders. When you are engaging your brain, you have to think actively rather than passively, like when you watch TV. Playing games like scrabble, sudoku, crosswords, and other word puzzles even once a day can keep your brain active.

Just 15 minutes a day of mental exercise is actively engaging your brain and giving it the exercise it needs. So, anyone up for a game of Scrabble?

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