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## Mentalrobics™

You exercise your body to stay physically in shape, so why shouldn't you exercise your brain to stay mentally fit? With these daily exercises you will learn how to flex your mind, improve your creativity and boost your memory. As with any exercise, repetition is necessary for you to see improvement, so pick your favorite exercises from our daily suggestions and repeat them as desired. Try to do some mentalrobics every single day!

## Memory :: Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that must be obtained from our diet, since we cannot produce them ourselves. Omega-3s are found in oily fish such as salmon, flax seeds, walnuts, and hemp. They can also be taken as a dietary supplement in pill form. There is a growing body of research that indicates that consuming large amounts (1-2 grams per day) of these fatty acids may help prevent heart disease and certain psychological disorders.

Omega-3 fatty acids make up about 8% of the brain's total mass and are important for strengthening the myelin sheaths that protect the neurons and increase the speed at which impulses travel. Without strong myelin sheaths, the processing speed of the brain will decrease and diseases such as multiple sclerosis may develop.

## Memory :: Remembering Times

The Phonetic Mnemonic System can be used to remember times as well as dates. Suppose that you have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday at 9:00am. Wednesday is the 3rd day of the week, so 3 and 9 make the word 'mop.' Create a visualization of your doctor with a mop, and you will be able to remember your appointment. Here are a few more times to help you practice:

Sunday 2:00 = 7 2 = can
Monday 8:30 = 1 83 = dove ham
Tuesday 4:39 = 2 439 = honey ramp
Thursday 3:00 = ? (Try this one yourself!)

## Memory :: Remembering Dates

The Phonetic Mnemonic System can be used to remember dates. All you need to do is turn the date of the event into a word using the system and then associate that word with the event. For example, suppose that your friend's birthday is on January 21. This can be represented by 1-21 or with the phonetic word 'tent.' If you visualize your friend having a birthday party inside a tent, then you will be able to remember the date.

Here are some more examples of turning dates into memorable words or phrases.

Columbus discovered America in 1492 (turban)
Albert Einstein published the Theory of Relativity in 1905 (topsoil)
World War II ended on Sept 2, 1945 or 9/2/45 (piano rail)

## Memory :: Mental Filing System

As you are falling asleep, do you ever think about things that you need to do the next day, but you don't want to turn on the light to write them down? The Phonetic Mnemonic System can help you remember these things in the morning. In fact, this system can be used any time that you don't have a pen and paper handy.

To do this, simply associate the thing that you need to do (go to the bank) with a phonetic keyword for 1 (tie). Visualize the next thing that you need to do (pick up dinner) with a keyword for 2 (knee). When you wake up in the morning, you simply need to go through your keywords to remember the things that you need to do.

A variation on this method is to group your keywords by category. For example keywords 1-10 could be used for things related to work, keywords 11-20 could be for things related to home, and so on. This will help mentally organize your to-do list.

To reduce interference between days, you could use different keywords for each day of the week. Monday uses keywords 1-10, Tuesday 11-20, etc. Pick the method that works best for you.

## Memory :: Green Tea

There are many recent studies that show that drinking green tea may have beneficial affects on the brain. Green tea contains a bioflavonoid called catechin, which is a powerful antioxidants that can help prevent damage to the brain caused by free radicals. This damage can lead to problems such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Green tea is also one of a handful of substances that can reduce levels of nitric oxide in the brain. Nitric oxide is an important neurotransmitter that contributes to memory formation, but too much nitric oxide can cause certain neurodegenerative disorders.

Some research even indicates that green tea may protect against Parkinson's disease by cleaning up excess iron in the nervous system.

Other studies have suggested that the antioxidant characteristics of green tea may also help to prevent against certain types of cancers, heart problems, high cholesterol and hypertension.

Black teas contain most of the beneficial elements of green tea, but to a lesser extent depending on how the tea is processed. For people sensitive to caffeine, there are many decaffeinated brands on the market that preserve the positive properties of the tea.

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