My name is Susan Hanfland and I am a Brain Junkie:
About 25 years ago I became interested in the possible connections between neurological research and its implications related to the delivery of education. Since then I have studied how the brain learns, basic male and female brain differences, and how to keep our brains healthy.
It is my intention to share some brain health tips and give you at least 3 essentials for life long learning.
#1 Our brain's primary purpose is to gather information, store it and use it. (If it’s not useful we toss it.) When we learn, we grow longer and stronger neurons. We can learn anything as long as we can connect it with something we already know. Yet we gain the most by tackling something new beyond our knowledge base. This helps our brain to make new connections and it reinforces the ones we use in related activities.
#2 Being physically active is important for two reasons:
- It pushes more oxygen to our brains. Any activity which increases heart rate and causes deep breathing increases the oxygen available to your brain. The brain can’t work well if it doesn’t have lots of oxygen and hydration.
- Some movements are actually tied to specific brain functions. For example, the act of crawling stimulates the part of our brain which support the skills needed for reading. Crossing your arms or legs across the mid line of your body increases blood flow from one side to the other in your brain. This aides articulation and problem solving. So the next time you have trouble finding the right words try patting yourself on the back a few times.
#3 A dehydrated brain can’t think, it’s so stressed that the dendrites in your hippocampus are shriveled up. If you are having trouble focusing try drinking a big glass of water (8-16 oz). This will quickly work to refresh and restore your focus and diminish fatigue. Try it you’ll be amazed.
If you find this information intriguing, Anat Baniel's book Nine Essentials for Life Long Vitality is certainly worth the read. Learn something new, be physically active, and stay hydrated to keep your brain performing optimally.
Have you tried these three tips and noticed a difference? What tips can you share to exercise your brain?