Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Feb 23, 2013

Brain health: keep busy and keep connected

Filed under: Brain — admin @ 12:32 am

On 2/2/13, I read this piece on brain health from Harvard Medical School newsletter, that is, two simple ways to keep our brains sharp and fresh.

(1) Keep busy and engaged
The MacArthur Foundation Study on Successful Aging, a long-term study of aging in America, found that education level was the strongest predictor of mental capacity as people aged. The more education, the more likely an individual was to maintain his or her memory and thinking skills. People who engaged in complex work had a lower risk of memory loss than people whose jobs were less intellectually demanding.

It is nice to know that “intellectual enrichment and learning stimulate the brain to make more connections. The more connections, the more resilient the brain. That’s how a lifelong habit of learning and engaging in mentally challenging activities—like learning a new language or craft—can help keep the brain in shape.”

(2) Stay connected socially
Establishing and maintaining close ties with others is another way to maintain mental skills and memory. There are several ways that social engagement may do this. Social interaction and mentally engaging activities often go hand in hand. Social relationships can also provide support during stressful times, reducing the damaging effects that stress can have on the brain.

Social support can come from relationships with family members, friends, relatives, or caregivers, as well as from a religious community or other organized group. Meaningful, socially engaging activities may prove especially helpful.

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