Evidence continues to build about the ability of the brain to continue to grow new neurons and redefine itself-including the ability to bypass injured areas due to free radical damage and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia. The trick is to challenge yourself, and with some simple, easy changes, you can stay at your sharpest. Try some of these: 1) when I walk the dog, I do an occasional fox trot, figure 8, polka steps, lunges, and when I get to a curb, I try to step up or down with my opposite foot. 2) Wash yourself in the shower with your opposite hand, and dry the opposite side first when you get out. 3) brush your teeth with your opposite hand (I haven’t the guts to try this with shaving). 4) Dress yourself on the opposite side first, (ie. put your pants on with the other leg first, etc).

Anything you can do to alter your present routine, whether it be puzzles, exercise, or your daily routine, will nurture those brain neurons and jiggle those synapses. I’ve seen what can happen to brain deterioration, and it’s not something I want.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.