Exercise and diet become increasingly important with age, but a major organ of the body, the brain, is often overlooked. The brain is divided into three main parts; the forebrain, the midbrain and the hindbrain. The brain allows diverse functions such as hearing, touch and taste to occur while simultaneously handling other acts such as breathing, speaking and movement. Dr. Glen Johnson, a clinical neuropsychologist, explains that this remarkable organ weighs only three pounds yet contains approximately 100 billion cells or neurons. Try these simple exercises to keep the brain fit.
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Exercise to Improve Memory
This exercise to improve and maintain memory is simple and can be completed in a short period of time. While waiting for a meal at a restaurant memorise a short list of seven to ten food items, close the menu and repeat them back to yourself or a friend. Or try memorising a photo in the menu and list the items and colors in it from memory. This exercise can also be performed with any reading material that is handy throughout the day such a newspaper, a book, or even a sign in a street.
Exercise to Improve Hearing
This exercise is recommended by BellyDoc.com to fine tune the sense of hearing: try to focus on the direction of a single sound source such as a person talking, a horn or music, while ignoring all other surrounding sounds. This exercise can be done while standing at a busy road junction or waiting at the shopping centre.
Walking to Improve Verbal Ability
Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association noted that regular, long-term physical activity such as walking helped to boost verbal or speaking ability in the elderly. This included improved verbal memory, sentence structure, articulation and recall fluency. Walking is thought to be beneficial to the brain’s verbal centres and other areas because it helps to increase blood flow, supplying the brain with increased oxygen and glucose for nerve health. Walking is particularly beneficial as it does not exert the body’s muscles as much as more strenuous exercises, which use more energy, oxygen and nutrients.
Exercise to Improve Sight
Sight tends to diminish with age due to strain and stress. An exercise to keep the eyes healthy involves holding a pen or object in front of the eyes and following the movement of pen for a short period of time followed by a rest period. This exercise helps to maintain eye focus and the nerve signals of the eye to the brain.
Exercise to Improve Alertness
According to The Franklin Institute, this simple exercise can stimulate the brain to improve alertness and motor control. Before getting out of bed in the morning or standing up from a chair, slowly move the toes up and down as far as possible. Continue for about two minutes, at first moving all the toes and then only the two big toes.
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