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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!

A concussion is a mild brain injury that can cause temporary memory impairment. A concussion happens when the head receives a hard impact that cannot be absorbed via the fluid that surrounds and protects the brain. When the brain slams into the skull, it can become damaged. The sudden acceleration can also tear the fragile axons throughout the brain.

A concussion can cause temporary unconsciousness, confusion, amnesia and other mental disturbances. Typically, symptoms go away after a few hours to a few days, but some severe concussions can cause permanent impairments such as headaches, sensitivity to light or sound, memory problems, dizziness, depression and anxiety.

The best way to protect yourself from getting a concussion is to wear a proper helmet when participating in any activity that might result in a blow to the head (football, biking, skateboarding, skiing, hockey, etc). Some of the worst concussions happen during car accidents, so be sure to wear your seatbelt and drive safely. You should avoid activities such as boxing, which involve repeated blows to the head. Studies show that multiple concussions can lead to dementia and other memory problems later in life.

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Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that the body needs to function properly. It is required for healthy skin, teeth and bones and it is essential for the brain to produce neurotransmitters such as dopamine and adrenalin. Our immune system also needs this vitamin to stay in tip-top shape.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that has been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease and other age related memory problems, especially when used in combination with vitamin E.

Every plant and nearly every animal on the planet can produce their own vitamin C. Humans are one of the exceptions. This means that we need to get our vitamin C from food sources such as oranges or broccoli. Without vitamin C, people develop a fatal disease called scurvy. In the past, this was common among sailors because it was difficult to keep fruits and vegetables on long sea journeys.

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Neurogenesis is the process by which new neurons are created in the brain. A common myth is that adults are losing some number of neurons every second and that there is nothing we can do about it because the brain cannot create new neurons. While it's true that most neurogenesis happens in childhood and adolescence, adults do continue to make new neurons throughout life.

Much of this adult neurogenesis occurs in the hippocampus which is the key area for learning and memory. Because of this, the hippocampus experiences very little age related shrinkage as compared to other parts of brain.

It's useful to note that stress can inhibit neurogenesis and physical exercise can improve the brain's ability to create new neurons.

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Without new and interesting experiences our brains get bored and lazy. One way to introduce some novelty into your lives is to try new foods. The sense of taste is an underused sense that has a large capacity to trigger old memories. One bite of your grandmother's apple pie might bring back dozens of childhood experiences.

Instead of having your normal everyday breakfast, try something completely new. If you always have cereal, have eggs instead. If you cook at home, try to incorporate one new recipe each week. When you are at the grocery store grab one item off the shelf that you have never had before and take it home for a taste-test. If you eat out or order in, branch out and try a new restaurant or order something from the menu that you have never had before. If you never try new things, you'll never know if you are missing out on something that you really like. The new tastes and smells will help form new memories and may even remind you of something long forgotten.

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The peg mnemonic system can be used to remember long numbers. Since each digit has its own pegword, you simply need to link the pegwords together to remember each subsequent digit. Here are the rhyming pegwords for each digit.

ZeroHero
OneBun
TwoShoe
ThreeTree
FourDoor
FiveHive
SixSticks
SevenHeaven
EightGate
NineWine
TenHen


For example, let's say that your credit card number is 5831-7489-2467-0000 (not a real credit card number!). You could memorize this by linking the words: hive-gate-tree-bun-heaven-door....

Use this technique to remember account numbers, PINs, phone numbers, social security numbers, etc. You could even memorize the digits of pi (3.14159265...) using this method.

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