Everyone loves a new year. Another opportunity to ‘start fresh.’
For some that might mean eating better, working out more or learning a new skill. A more active and healthier life isn’t just good for your body; your brain needs an exercise regimen as well. So says neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta in his book Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age.
The book debunks common myths about aging and cognitive decline, instead espousing that one can – must – keep their brain young and healthy. Apparently, even though the brain does age physically, its ability to understand and apply can actually improve with age. There is evidence that the brain is not fixed in its abilities but capable of literally creating new cells.
Create New Pathways
So, what can you do to jumpstart your brain? Well, start by using it differently. We all know that one auntie or neighbor or grandpa in their nineties that are still sharp as a whip, showing no sign of slowing down. They’ve found ways to create new pathways and trails in their brain landscape. One way to do this is to mix things up a bit: if you’re left-handed, start using your right hand for some things. Put your tie on with your eyes closed. Learn a new language. The reason being that the more you can recruit different parts of your brain to do even simple activities, the better it is for your brain now and the better it is for your long-term brain health.
And don’t use stress as an excuse to not try new things. Stress is not the enemy; it’s actually good for the brain by helping get you out of bed in the morning and keeping you motivated at work. However, even your brain needs a rest from unrelenting stress. On these occasions, go simple: Light a Candle. Exercise. Laugh.
Use it or Lose it
Now that we know our brain can regenerate throughout our lifetime, focus on keeping your brain in shape. Find new patterns, new routines, shock the body a little bit. Getting out of your comfort zone will help create new cells and build the reserves in your brain. In other words, use it or lose it.
With over 100 chemists on staff, Adesis has plenty of built-in ‘brain power.’ Regardless, we’re always flexing our chemical minds developing innovative solutions for projects big and small. We love working on challenges that force us to think differently, problems that need to be resolved in new constructive ways, and questions that require new pathways to get to the answers.
Make this year different. Instead of resolving to get fit, also promise to exercise your brain!