Tag Archives: brain

Retirement and Dementia

Dr. Paul Nussbaum, the Chief Scientific Officer at Fit Brains, shares his valuable thoughts on the topics of Retirement and Dementia:

It’s ironic how people work their whole lives toward the goal of retirement but when it does come, many suffer anxiety and depression towards the idea of having nothing to think about or do.

For many years I have spoken and written about my resistance to “retirement” the way the policy and concept is positioned and treated in the United States. It is true that there may have been good intent with the idea of retirement, but my guess is that nobody considered the health implications for the brain. This becomes increasingly important when we know that a passive, isolated, lonely, and segregated brain will atrophy when we stop working.

Retirement certainly does not have to be a time of passivity. Indeed, many people at all ages retire to a different and even busier life than when they were employed. However, a recent study of nearly a half-million people by the French government’s health research agency found that people who delay retirement have less risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.

It is believed work is related to physical activity, socialization, mental stimulation, all things known to be good for the brain and three of the five major pillars of Dr. Nussbaum’s Brain Health Lifestyle ® (see www.paulnussbaum.com)For each additional year of work, the risk of getting dementia is reduced by 3.2% according to the study.

The major finding is supportive of the “use it or lose it” theory and I will simply add to that by saying you should “use it in new and complex ways or lose it.”  The answer is not to delay retirement to have a healthy mind and fulfilling life, it is the importance of keeping your mind and body active even after retirement.  Keep a personally relevant reason for getting up each morning, and feel good about your daily contributions to those around you.

Strive to be relevant, useful, healthy, and active every day in your life.  For the days that aren’t as busy as others, you can still keep your mind active and stimulated with the Fit Brains Trainer app!

8 Tips & Tricks To Help You Remember Everyday Things!

“Where did I leave my keys?”
“What am I forgetting to buy?”
“What time is that meeting?”
“He just introduced himself a minute ago…and I already forgot his name.”

We all have those moments when our memory fails us on the seemingly simplest daily tasks and items to remember.  Although the occasional memory loss is probably inevitable, there are ways we can reduce the number of “blank out” moments in our lives.  Try using these 8 easy tricks to improve your memory for those small things in life!

1. Pay attention – Give the item you know you will need to remember your full, undivided attention when you first input it into your brain.  For example, listen to the introduction being given to you instead of worrying about what you need to say after, or take some time to think about everything you need to buy before you leave your home. 

2. Repeat it- With everything you need to remember, use a minute or two to repeat it over and over in your mind.  This works for locations, people, inanimate objects, exam notes…anything you want to stick and stay in your brain.

3. Use your senses - When you forget something, use all of your senses to try to remember it.  For example, if you forget where your first date with your significant other was, try to think about the things you touched, tasted, felt, smelled, saw, etc.  It is very likely one of these sensory cues will help you remember.

4. Associate it- Use random associations that make sense to you when you need to remember something.  

  • Rhymes: The new guy at work called Stan goes to the beach a lot = Tan Stan.
  • Mnemonics: I need to buy Beef, Ricotta cheese, Apples, Nuts, Donuts from the grocery store today = B.R.A.N.D
  • Personal links: I always leave my keys on the table below the family portrait = name your keys “Family Keys”

5. Create a routine – If you need to remember something on a continuous basis, like locking the door or feeding a pet, make it a routine.  Create a schedule and do the task at the exact same time in the exact same way every time you need to do it. 

6. Take a break – Sometimes you need to rest your brain a little before you put it to work again.  Even if something is at the tip of your tongue, overusing your brain will likely make you begin to doubt or confuse yourself.
 
7.  Write it down – When you have too many things to remember at once, just write it down!  The easiest way to “remember” is to make a concrete note.  Use sticky notes, mobile device reminders, voice recordings, etc. 

8. Play Fit Brains Trainer – Our app exercises and improves your Memory, Processing Speed, Concentration, Problem-Solving, and Visual skills.  Fit Brains Trainer keeps your mind sharp in just minutes a day so CLICK HERE to download the app now!

Leave a comment & let us know the tips and tricks you use to remember everyday things!

 

Top 10 Brain Foods

You are what you eat” – that’s a saying we always hear!  However, most people think about how food affects the body, but not the brain.  The brain needs proper nutrients just like the rest of your body.  It actually needs more energy to operate properly than other organs!

Here are 10 brain foods you can incorporate into your daily diet to maintain a healthy brain:

 

1. Salmon - Improves brain tissue development, fights cognitive decline.
2. Blueberries - Improve memory, reduce stress, reduce age-related declines in motor function and coordination.
3. Avocados - Increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure to maintain effective mind functioning.
4. Flax Seeds - Build and protect neurons, aid the processing of sensory information.
5. Coffee (in moderation) - Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia…and of course, gives you a brain energy boost!
6. Nuts - Improve memory and mental clarity, fight insomnia.
7. Whole Grains - Promote cardiovascular health, which improves circulation flow to the brain.
8. Tomatoes - Eliminate free radicals in your body, prevent age-related cognitive diseases.
9. Eggs - Provides energy for your brain, improves memory.
10. Dark Chocolate (in moderation) - Increases focus and concentration, improves your mood!

 

What foods do you eat to keep your mind active & healthy?  Leave a comment and let us know!

When Shopping is not Shopping

womenandmenshopping

A typical and yet interesting reality is that most women enjoy shopping and most men do not. As one interested in human behavior this is a fascinating finding worthy of some curiosity. The explanation of the differences between the two genders regarding shopping might be found in a basic understanding of the human brain.

Shopping for a male brain is defined as going into a store or mall, selecting the item to be purchased, and getting out of the store as fast as possible. This behavior is task-based, something to be confronted and completed. The male brain operates primarily within the dominant hemisphere, a side of the brain that is task based.

Shopping for a female brain is both task based and process based. For example, a female can do the same thing a male does while shopping by getting the item and getting out. However, upon entering the doors of the mall, the female brain hears music in the background, smells cinnamon rolls baking in the distance, and appreciates the wonderful different colors and textures of the products throughout the store. This is the non-dominant side of the female brain functioning, something that is foreign to the male brain within the shopping mall.

It can be fun to watch the female and male brain try to work together as “shopping” behavior occurs together. Have you ever seen an otherwise happy couple get frustrated with each other in the mall? Perhaps a little understanding of the how and why behind the gender differences can help to make the next shopping trip a good one.

The Brain: Language Skills

Perhaps the most fundamental and critical behavior of your brain is language. The ability to communicate is necessary to our species and survival. Language is predominantly a left-hemisphere and verbal function. However, language also entails prosody or pitch and tone without words, letters, or numbers. Language involves spontaneity, content, tempo, volume, and comprehension. Language is symbolic, spoken, written, perceived and comprehended.
Read more about Language Skills…

The Brain: Attention & Concentration

Attention is the most basic and necessary function of the brain. The brain can attend to information from five sensory pathways. While a deeper level of processing is not necessary for attention to occur, it is also true that a deeper level of information processing cannot occur without normal attention. The brain stem and frontal lobe are thought to be important for basic attentional processing. The entire Cortex is likely involved to a degree with basic attention.

Read more about Attention & Concentration…

The Power of Positive Thinking

As we learn more about the power of the human brain it is more common to hear about ideas regarding our ability to guide our future, intuition, and premonition. Given that the brain is an electrical, magnetic, and chemical system we should not be too surprised by such ideas.

Research has already demonstrated the brain’s ability to move a cursor on a computer screen merely through thoughts. Other research indicates meditation can slow the progression of HIV and the military is presently working on communication between soldiers on the battle field that is essentially based on telepathy.

We are perhaps more accustomed to ideas such as mental focus, discipline, and attention. These mental qualities are perfected by athletes such as Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan to name a few. It is precisely these attributes that distinguish these professionals as superstars relative to the other great athletes. Can the human brain train to use these forces to guide their future and to derive positive outcomes?

My opinion is that the human brain can do anything so I certainly believe each of us has the ability to visualize and to increase the probability of our future being a good one. I believe we have the ability to imagine or dream and to focus our energies in a positive stream towards that goal. This is most likely quite foreign to most, but begin by developing more and more positive thoughts, visualize positive outcomes, and create energy around you and inside you that is positive. Take an inventory of what occurs in your life after you begin and sustain this mental process.

Happy Trails.