Keeping Your Brain Sharp

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As I multitask and handle my career, my home life, my kids’ crazy schedules and my own personal needs, I often worry if I am losing my mind. Recently I was going to the grocery for one thing and while driving there I thought of a few other needed items. When I came home, I had forgotten the one item I went for but had every other item I had thought of along the way. Really? How can I be so forgetful?
When I talk with my friends, I realize I am not alone. I don’t know if we all are really losing it or simply trying to do too many things at one time. Is the problem we are not really concentrating on one thing at a time? Or are we going to be included in the growing statistics of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia one day? This scary thought has prompted me to work on my brain health and to try to keep my brain sharp.
Studies show you may ward off Alzheimer’s or dementia with the following tips:

  1. Get Moving – exercise or do something for at least 30 minutes every other day to keep your heart and brain healthy.
  2. Eat a low glycemic diet – high in fiber, low in carbs and sweets. Strawberries and blueberries are extremely high in antioxidants and are a great snack.
  3. Watch overeating and/or under-eating. Both of these types of diets can cause problems.
  4. Take care of your body – try to avoid obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. It is important to have normal blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
  5. Get great sleep. It is important to get your beauty rest for your body and brain.
  6. Enjoy coffee or other caffeine – it has shown to ward off brain fog, Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive issues by 30 -60%.
  7. Eat Fish. The Omega 3s in salmon and other fish are extremely beneficial for your brain and overall health.
  8. Chill out. Control stress with yoga, mediating, journaling, walking or even humor.
  9. Read a book and keep your mind active. With I pads and kindles as well as books on audio, there are many versions of books beyond the printed format.
  10. Skip the supplements. They really have not shown a long term benefit.
  11. Train your brain with mental exercises and new tasks. Everything from crossword puzzles to brain teasers exercises your brain. The key may also be doing something new and educating yourself on a new topic. The unknown challenge is more beneficial for your brain.
  12. Keep music in your life. It has shown to improve verbal fluency.

I have found the following free websites to be great for brain teasers and training. Lumonsity,, is a site that has different daily games and ranks your brain age daily. They also have a word puzzles challenge that I love that involves word building and time limits. After playing this game, many times I have improved my scores drastically. Sudoku is also a great puzzle game. You can search for free Sudoku games or even purchase puzzle books. Prevention magazine also offers free brain games on their website,
Here’s to not being so forgetful and improving our bodies and brains each day. Have a great day!

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