Brain Awareness Week: Brain Fitness Book Give Away

Reading time: 3 – 4 minutes

Here at Highlight HEALTH, we’re very interested in health and wellness, and the evidence-based preventive steps that can be taken to maintain or preclude disease or injury. This same idea applies to brain health: what preventive measures can be taken to improve or retain mental ability and brainpower?

Cognitive decline as you age appears to be largely due to altered connections among brain cells. Keeping the brain active — reading, writing, working crossword or other puzzles, educational courses, memory exercises — appears to strengthen the brain and may build reserves of brain cells and connections.

Today, it’s common to hear the buzzwords “brain fitness”, “brain training” and/or “neuroplasticity”. There are several products available on the market that can help to maintain and/or rebuild cognitive performance. We reviewed the SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness when it was released in 2009. The guide aims to help people make informed decisions about brain health and cognitive fitness, based on the latest scientific research, and to help navigate new products and confusing myths and claims that are part of the emerging brain fitness market.

SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness book give away

For Brain Awareness Week, SharpBrains has generously provided 5 copies of The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness for us to give away. Here’s how it works:

Simply leave a comment below and tell us in 2-3 sentences how brain research can impact health and/or healthcare. Together with Alvaro Fernandez at SharpBrains, we’ll select the 5 best answers and send the authors a copy of The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness.

If you need ideas to help you get started, check out past stories on the brain here at Highlight HEALTH.

Steps to brain fitness

An unhealthy lifestyle can lead to diseases like obesity, diabetes and brain-related health problems, all of which increase the risk of stroke, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. These conditions can be managed and even prevented by a healthy lifestyle. Research shows that brain health is promoted by a healthy lifestyle that includes [1]:

  • Eating a brain-healthy diet
  • Staying mentally active
  • Exercising and keeping fit
  • Staying socially engaged
  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Managing stress
  • Protecting your head from trauma
  • Controlling risk factors
  • Avoiding unhealthy habits
  • Understanding your genetic risk

The decision to review your current lifestyle and start making changes for brain health is truly an important choice to make. Following the healthy steps listed above will be effective at any age; however, the earlier you start, the better off you will be. Your goal should be to make a brain-healthy lifestyle a normal part of your everyday.

References

  1. Steps to Brain Fitness. Alliance for Aging Research. 2006.
About the Author

Walter Jessen is a senior writer for Highlight HEALTH Media.

Comments

  1. Brain research can advance both health and healthcare — health, because it’s increasingly clear that what optimizes brain function optimizes overall fitness, and healthcare because the system in America is a big complex hairball, and we need all the help we can get to think and move “out of the box.”

    Get active, make small goals and attain them, link up socially, avoid burnout, get adept at making lemonade out of lemons…just some of the applicable action items to improve brain performance at the individual and organizational levels.

    And the best research will translate improved understanding of physiology and function into actionable items.

  2. As an Activity Director in a senior activity center, I use a plethora of sources to stimulate clients with memory impairment/cognitive decline and appreciate the research. When these magnificent people are given sufficient time to figure out how to solve a puzzle, equation, word jumble etc, they light up with tremendous pleasure/satisfaction in knowing and recognizing they “still have it”, and it serves to diminish their focus on their frustrations. The socialization daily with others also improves mood and recall ability as they interact with one another,share humor, reminisce etc. Sparks fly with encouragement, empowerment, reinforcement, camaraderie,dignity, respect, warmth and love.

  3. I think brain research has already impacted health/healthcare and will continue to do in the future.

    Everything from behavioral economics which can help us “nudge” people towards making better decisions about their health, to understanding how various states of mind affect health outcomes, to mental health issues and treatments.