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In memory of Mother: Preventing brain illness part two

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One way to prevent brain illness is to train one’s brain. The brain, just like the body, needs to be exercised to stay in good shape. That means challenging oneself with mental workouts. Here are some suggestions to do just that:

  • Take a class: Learning how to play a musical instrument or enrolling in a cooking course will give one a challenge and encourage memorization.
  • Make new friends: Staying social involves using one’s brain to engage people, and research shows that people with regular social ties demonstrate significantly less cognitive decline than those who are lonely or isolated. If one does not know many people in one’s area, try joining a local club or a church group.
  • Play some games: Playing mentally challenging games such as chess, backgammon and bridge is a great way to both exercise one’s brain and interact with others.
  • Read a book: The next time one is at a loose end, pick up a book rather than turning on the television. Reading forces one to concentrate, helps one exercise one’s cognitive skills and increases one’s vocabulary.
  • Learn a language: Trying to learn a foreign language will keep one’s mind flexible and sharp, helping to reduce the slowing of thought processes that comes with age.

Mother began to take up bowling. For her, it was exercise and a way to stay social. She always took a class in sewing.

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