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Self Excellence » Personal Development

Chrm Message From: madure Total Posts: 278 Join Date: 06/06/2006
Rank: Coach Post Date: 29/06/2006 18:16:24 Points: 1440 Location: Sri Lanka

Many factors can affect your ability to remember—a hectic lifestyle, aging, stress, chronic disease, and certain medications. But there are steps you can take to sharpen your mind and help preserve your memory.

Challenge Your Brain
Regularly challenging your mind increases blood flow to the brain and keeps it in top shape. Good mental exercises include:
• Crossword puzzles (use a dictionary if you need it; you'll learn more that way)
• Brainteasers
• Crafts, such as wood working and sewing
• Hobbies, such as gardening and building model airplanes
• Socializing – visit old friends or join groups to meet new ones
• Reading – a newspaper, a novel, a magazine, anything
• Learning a new language
• Taking a class, whether it be art history or Tai chi
• Traveling – experience the food, history, and culture of your destination
• Learning to use a computer
• Going to museums, the theater, or thought-provoking movies
• Changing things in your daily life, such as reversing your pattern in the grocery store or brushing your teeth using your non-dominant hand

Use Memory Aids
There's no need to remember every detail on your own. These memory aids can help:
• Calendars and day planners, with room to make notes, for your every day appointments
• Electronic organizers, which store all sorts of helpful information, and can "beep" to remind you of important appointments
• A book of days to record birthdays, anniversaries, and other occasions that occur on the same date every year
• Detailed "to-do" lists and strategically placed sticky notes
• Quick "study" sessions – before a gathering, review who will be there, so their names will be fresh in your mind when you see them
• Establish routines, such as keeping your keys, wallet, and umbrella in the same place all the time or taking medication with your 8:00 AM glass of juice

Live a Healthful Life
Many actions that will keep your body strong will do the same for your mind. For example:
Eat a diet rich in antioxidants and B vitamins. In research studies, the antioxidant nutrients—vitamins C and E and beta carotene—have been associated with high marks on memory tests. And B vitamins, specifically vitamin B6 and folate, are believed to boost memory function as well. Good food sources include:
• Vitamin E: nuts, oils, sunflower seeds, and wheat germ
• Vitamin C and beta-carotene: orange, green, red, and other brightly-colored fruits and vegetables
• Vitamin B6: bananas, legumes, oatmeal, wheat germ, and whole grains
• Folate: fruits, vegetables, legumes, and fortified grain products
Choose food sources of antioxidants as opposed to supplements; the most promising studies so far have used foods, not pills.

Exercise regularly. Among the many benefits of regular exercise is increased blood flow to the brain and decreased risk of certain chronic diseases that can interfere with memory function. One study found that even moderate exercise has a beneficial effect. Examples of "moderate" exercise are:
• 18 holes of golf once a week, without a cart
• Tennis twice a week
• Walking one mile per day

Manage stress. It can be tough to remember what's important when your mind is cluttered and harried. Make time for relaxation—meditate, do yoga, exercise, read a book, take a walk, listen to music, bake bread—whatever it is that calms you down, make it routine.

Manage chronic conditions. Side effects of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease can interfere with mental function. Many of the lifestyle steps discussed here can help manage these conditions. Strive to eat a healthful diet, exercise regularly, get stress under control, and follow your doctor's specific advice for your condition.

Minimize medications. Review the medications you take with your doctor. Some may be unnecessary. Also, healthful lifestyle habits may lower the need for certain drugs.
From Ideas expressed by Karen Schroeder

Prof. LakshmanMadurasinghe

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