How to: Sharpen Your Brain

There’s been a recent viral explosion of media coverage on the Martin Manley suicide story (click on link to read CNN’s coverage). If you are not familiar with the story, it’s quite an interest story as Martin Manley used one year to depict his life, thoughts and ideology of suicide and ultimately, death.


One of the reasons why Manley chose suicide instead of the natural progression of life is because he was experiencing what he called “traits of dementia” (described in his blog), and the thought of becoming senescent was unacceptable for him. As a reminder of our own mortality, we thought this week’s blog should focus on how to prevent memory loss and sharpen one’s brain because dementia is not inevitable!

We read this article and it describes our brain just like any other muscle, if you don’t use it, you lose it. “Scientists believe working out your brain — just like you would your body to keep in shape — could ward off the dulling of mental faculties and strengthen connections between newly-generated brain cells, which people make throughout life.” 

How do you keep your mental faculties from dwindling away? Dr. Marie Savard from “Good Morning America” suggests tips on every day activities (neurobics) you can do and bad habits you should avoid: 

A. Unhealthy Daily Routines – Avoid stress, lack of exercise, non-nutritious diet, and not enough sleep. 

B. Five Simple Brain Exercises – Try to incorporate these brain aerobics (neurobics) in to your daily routines to prevent memory loss and stimulate your cognitive functions:   

1. Switch Hands – use your non-dominant hand for your daily activities (brushing your teeth or dialing a phone number)

2. Close Your Eyes – close your eyes in the shower or when eating, thus forcing your body to strengthen other senses. 

3. Play Games – contrary to popular beliefs, play games can help you strategize, exhibit multi-tasking traits and interact socially at the same time. Try Sudoku, board, word and card games.

4. Don’t Get Repetitive, Do Something Different – novelty in one’s life is crucial, you don’t need to do anything complicated, but try something new each day, such as taking a new path to work or even sitting in different seats. 

5. Watch What You Consume – You want to make sure to consume brain-boosting foods or supplements. Try antioxidants in food, such as berries, tea, and leafy greens. And you also want to consume fish oils, which also come in supplements. Please remember to consult a physician before making any drastic changes to your diet. 

We can fight dementia together! 
To learn more on the prevalence of dementia, please visit the Alzheimer Society in Canada