Recipe for Brain Health
Happy 4th of July! I hope your holiday is fun and safe. It is hard to believe July is here already.
This month we focus on the mind and the critical importance of keeping it sharp. This is Step Three to Total Well-being. It seems that every health-oriented publication I read these days emphasizes the importance of exercising our mind to sharpen thinking and memory skills. No matter what our age, brain health impacts quality of life.
Our ancient yogi ancestors believed in stimulating and educating the mind to keep it healthy, and they did this through chanting. Before the printing press, books were scarce. The ancients transmitted information and knowledge through listening and memorizing chants. I have memorized several Sanskrit chants and, true confession, it is hard, especially when the instructor doesn’t give you the printed text. Thank goodness for the printing press.
As adults, it can be all too easy to stop learning and stimulating our brains. We all get so busy that it is easy to fall into regular routines and patterns just to get through the to-do list.
Fountain of Youth
Until recently, scientific theory held that brain function declined as we aged and that there was nothing to be done about it because the brain did not make new tissue. That theory has been exploded as the field of neuroplasticity debunks all the myths around aging brains.
It is now known that the brain can rewire itself in response to learning, changes in the environment and injury for our entire lives. How exciting!
Just as we have a lot to do with how our body ages, we have a lot to do with how our brain ages. As in so many things, the responsibility falls on us – use it or lose it.
Shake Things Up
This week’s picture is one I took from my cabin at the ranch where we stayed during my trip to Yellowstone. The expansiveness and openness remind me of the importance of staying open to new experiences, especially as I age. My brain needs the variety of being pulled out of its day to day routine if it is to be stimulated and create new brain cells.
Stimulating your brain cannot always involve travel to wonderful places. But, that’s okay because there are many ways to shake things up and change your routine from your home base. Here are a few no cost ideas each one of us can implement.
- Go a different route to work or to run errands
- Eat with your non-dominate hand
- Walk up and down stairs backward (Please be careful)
What are some of the things you do to shake things up and change your routine?
The field of brain science, neuroplasticity, is an exploding field and the potential for maintaining vibrant brains for our entire lives is exciting. We will continue exploring ways to enhance brain health over the next several weeks.
Health is a precious gift and my goal is to help you live a healthier, happier life through yoga. Every private session is uniquely designed just for you. For a free telephone consultation call me at 303.818.4181. Discover whether personalized, private yoga instruction is right for you.
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