Brain Fitness: Understanding Why We Need It

We’ve talked about brain fitness here before, I don’t think we talk about it enough. But we’ve talked about Brain Age and the fun that can be had with it as well as the benefits it can provide to you. Of course, it never hurts to revisit the issue especially since mental workouts help keep your mind in good working order just like a regular exercise helps to keep your body healthy and limber.

A Limber Mind is a Good Thing

A flexible and healthy mind is a great benefit to your daily activities and your overall health. There are enough challenges in life from balancing the checkbook to helping the kids with the homework to striving to better us for our career and family.

A limber mind is a good thing because your brain is constantly in motion, even when you are sitting still and staring mindlessly at the television, there are billions of synapses crackling with energy and information. The more synapses that fire and exchange their information, the more you know and the more you think about. In fact, in the time that it took me to sit here and write this sentence, there were likely a thousand new unions formed between the synapses in my brain.

As you get older, some of these unions fade faster than they used to. By keeping your mind limber and active, you strengthen the connections to help prevent forgetting. If you’ve ever known someone affected by Alzheimer’s and I have, you’ll understand that the cruelest thing it does to that person is it robs them of their ability to access the portions of their memory. The connections are not weakened – they are blocked almost entirely by a protein called an amyloid. The nerve cells are damaged, the access to them is limited or completely inaccessible and there is still a great deal of research going on to determine whether the memories are gone or just inaccessible.

This is one of the reasons why it’s so critical that we keep the brain active and engaged; that we keep the connections strong and firing away. Exercising the mind and performing brain fitness is a vital part of our overall health and fitness.

Warm Up Your Mind

You can warm up your mind daily by remembering every aspect of a story you heard recently. Don’t just remember the details of the story, but the details of the person’s face that was telling you the story. Think about the scents that were in the air and even the environment you were occupying. Was there a song on the radio? Did you hear snippets of other conversation? It’s amazing what your mind will record and if you practice thinking about the billions of incidental details that make up the components of your memory – you will warm up your mind and a good warm up for the brain is like a good warm up for the body – it prepares it to perform.

Have you warmed up your mind today?

Related Article:

Mental Calisthenics to Help Your Workout

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About Heather Long

Heather Long is 35 years old and currently lives in Wylie, Texas. She has been a freelance writer for six years. Her husband and she met while working together at America Online over ten years ago. They have a beautiful daughter who just turned five years old. She is learning to read and preparing for kindergarten in the fall. An author of more than 300 articles and 500+ web copy pieces, Heather has also written three books as a ghostwriter. Empty Canoe Publishing accepted a novel of her own. A former horse breeder, Heather used to get most of her exercise outside. In late 2004, early 2005 Heather started studying fitness full time in order to get herself back into shape. Heather worked with a personal trainer for six months and works out regularly. She enjoys shaking up her routine and checking out new exercises. Her current favorites are the treadmill (she walks up to 90 minutes daily) and doing yoga for stretching. She also performs strength training two to three times a week. Her goals include performing in a marathon such as the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness or Team in Training for Lymphoma research. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through the fitness and marriage blogs.

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