Our Brains Shrink with Age
Medical scientists know that the brain shrinks with age. Human brain scans show that this shrinkage affects people’s memory power and may be a leading contributor to Alzheimer’s disease. Writers often think this doesn’t apply to them because they keep their minds active. Exercising the brain does help deter Alzheimer’s disease, but on CBS’s The Early Show (October 15, 2010), Dr. Jennifer Ashton gave more suggestions.
Your Diet Plays a Role
Researchers have discovered that some foods are more nourishing for the brain than other foods. Junk food isn’t even near the list! That’s no surprise, but in the real world, many writers nibble on these types of snacks. Incorporating healthier foods into your diet can help.
Writers can slip some brain boosting foods, such as certain fruits and vegetables, into their diets by simply snacking on them while writing. Munching on an apple is better for a writer than devouring a bag of chips. In her article, “Feed Your Brain and Improve Your Memory”, Carol Roach lists some brain boosting foods. She includes apples, grapes, spinach, and other healthy foods and gives a brief account of their nutritional value. For example, soy is a very good food for writers because it helps to lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol. According to Ms. Roach, soy helps people control their type 2 diabetes. Many of the foods on the list may improve a writer’s overall health.
Hermits Are at Risk
Writing can be a solitary lifestyle. We pound away at our keyboards alone. We research information on the Internet, devoid of human interaction. We contact our editors through email.
Experts advise that social interaction exercises certain areas of the brain that are not necessarily affected by solitary activities. As illustrated in the previous paragraph, writers sometimes become isolated without realizing it. Join a writers’ group or an exercise group. Start a walking club or find a walking partner.
Dr. Jennifer Ashton advises people to walk six to nine miles. They illustrated that by parking at the far end of the shopping mall’s parking lot and walking through the mall can add up to over two miles. Add extra steps into your daily routine. Using a pedometer tracks the mileage. Striving for an extra two miles a day will help prevent the “sedentary spread.”
Walking does more for writers than just improve their brains. Exercise is one of the leading deterrents to several health issues that plague writers, including high blood pressure, depression, and weight gain.
The inner hip muscle group (iliopsoas) is important for standing, walking, and other hip movement. Often deskbound people suffer from weakened or tightened iliopsoas muscles. Either condition causes inflexible muscles. In severe cases, the muscles fuse, causing permanent damage. Prevent this condition by getting up and walking or stretching at least once an hour.
How can writers work walking into their daily routine and still remain productive? Many writers use their walking time as their “percolator” time. Prepare your brain like setting up the coffee pot. Review the research and your article or story outline. While you are walking, your writing ideas are percolating or brewing up ideas. You may carry a small notebook and write down ideas as they occur. I use my walking time to walk to a nearby park where I stop to make a few notes in a notebook.
Exercise Your Brain
Push your brain to do tasks it seldom tackles. If you usually work with words, do some math or doodle or spark it with color. You don’t need to take an art class (increased socialization) to exercise your brain. Get a box of crayons and play. Create colorful mindmaps of your articles.
Protect Your Brain and Protect Your Health
Many writers worry about the potential of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Sometimes simple changes in their lifestyles and writing habits may decrease their chance of developing one of these problems. Usually these new habits multitask and help improve many areas of our lives.
Carol Roach’s article: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2443520/feed_your_brain_and_improve_your_memory.html?cat=5
An article about iliopsoas muscleshttp://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-iliacus.htm