Friday, April 21, 2006

Staying sharp as time goes on

USA Today featured an article online for April 16, entitled "Healthy Habits Can Help You Stay Sharp." It discusses ways to help keep your mind sharp as time goes on. According to the article, once we get to 50, the brain starts slowing down in terms of memory. However, doing some basic things to keep your brain challenged and stimulated will help keep your mind a bit more sharp over time. I had read of things like this before: how doing things like crosswords, reading, and other activities to stimulate your mind and help it continue making connections will help it stay healthy. However, this one is new to me:

"'Research on animals and humans suggests mentally challenging activities such as playing bridge, learning a new language or even blogging might help build new connections in the brain,' says Molly Wagster at the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health."

Who knew that blogging could help the mind stay healthy? Well, I am doing my part to keep my little brain active, and I hope in some small measure I am helping others out there keep their minds a bit healthy by giving them something to read. By the way, some other tips from the article of things that could help:
  • Stay in touch with other people. Correspond, be involved. Join a book club, socialize.
  • Have a hobby.
  • Volunteering.
A hat tip to the social software weblog.

P.S. Yes, I know, I don't always have the most substantial reading material in this blog, but this one is the fun one, well, now and then. You want the serious stuff, go to the other one.


Mark said...

Oh my friend, I would disagree with you about a lack of "substantial" reading matter here! Should I point you back to posts about Thomas Jefferson, Thomas the Apostle and Jesus, or the topic of a foreign language, or religious followers, or...?

And, yes, I know you mean to imply the quizzes and so on, but do not denigrate your writing here, please. I find it just as engaging, and thought-provoking as the more "serious" blog.

I guess I should be happy I'm so on top of this as I am *much* closer to 50 than you. Although I guess starting early can't hurt either, and probably helps. I do multiple crosswords everyday (wake up and go to bed by them), read an awful lot, blog, am involved in things, am in reading/discussion groups, am learning to socialize, volunteer, and, uh, ... , uh, oh, I forget. ;)

Thanks for this today, as it gives me a reason to be happy with much of what I do with myself.

Angel, librarian and educator said...

Mark: Thanks for stopping by once more. Stay tuned for some things on torture and tattoos (reading this interesting article on tattoing in Burma during the era of the British Empire). I don't do crosswords as a habit, but I have been known to enjoy them now and then. I read tons of things. Started blogging, which seems to at times give me more ideas of what to read as I seek stuff to write, or I read someone's blog and gives me a prompt, so on.

Overall, I think the message is to keep the "little grey cells" (in the words of Hercule Poirot) active. Best, and keep on blogging.