Instead of Online Brain Games, Go Exercise

Instead of Online Brain Games, Go Exercise
Millions of people play computer games believing they will improve memory and cognitive skills. However, this online game therapy doesn’t do what advertisers claim. "If you're (playing these games) because they're fun, that's absolutely fine," Adrian Owen, assistant director of the Cognition and Brain Sciences unit at Britain's Medical Research Council and the study's lead author, told the Associated Press. "But if you're expecting (these games) to improve your I.Q., our data suggests this isn't the case."

Researchers explain if you can’t transfer learning skills laterally to your activities of daily living, in other words, apply them, then the learning is not reinforced. Instead of playing games, you might want to learn a new language, how to play an instrument or read and study the way you did at school.

More science is coming out to praise the powerful protective effect of exercise. Exercise is not just good for the body, but has been shown to build new neurons in the brain, enhance connections and is the true brain balancer when it comes to mood stabilization and reducing the inflammatory response. Fitness can change the brain’s structure for the better. And you can’t get comfortable with your exercise either. After you adapt to a routine, you need to take it to the next level. Aim for a combination of aerobics and strength training. Take different exercise classes like Zumba to learn new moves.
Don’t make yourself crazy worrying about contracting Alzheimer’s even if close family members have it. Heredity is tricky. High blood pressure, high levels of LDL cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, Inflammation especially due to chronic stress, and a poor diet could be that tipping point to disease process. Therefore managing the aforementioned health risks improves your odds of not getting Alzheimer’s or postponing it.

Your best strategies:
  • Exercise daily for an hour for weight management and cardiovascular health. Heart smart means head smart. Housework, gardening – counts. Whatever you do, do it with alacrity.
  • Eat a Mediterranean diet. Every day new research comes out about how healthy this diet is.
  • Keep learning and self-actualizing.
  • Find a creative hobby to stimulate you and inspire you to imagine new directions. A hobby where you lose track of time means that you are on the right track.
  • Cultivate friendships where you can have deep, meaningful conversations to share your happiness and your fears like a safe haven.

For more information on caregiving read my book, Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show

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