Want to boost your brainpower? Here are a few tips from the experts at Rodale Publishing:
- Exercise! A study at Columbia University found that aerobic exercise causes new cell growth in the area of your brain devoted to memory, and the more complicated the exercise, the better. So, don’t just mindlessly hit the treadmill three times a week – though that is healthy for your body. Add in some complex exercises, like dance or martial arts.
- Next, when you’re memorizing facts, give them your full attention. Researchers at UCLA asked volunteers to memorize information while also counting beeping noises, and then again without the beeps. The result? The distracted subjects had a harder time recalling what they learned. So, if you’re memorizing facts for a school test, or a work presentation, turn off the TV and the iTunes.
- Another tip for boosting your brainpower: You are what you eat. Dr. Larry McCleary, the author of The Brain Trust Program, says your brain works best when it’s fueled by fresh fruits, veggies, and lean protein, like turkey. He also recommends avoiding the dreaded duo, trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup – which can slow brain function down.
- Also, after a stressful day, it's tempting to zone out in front of the TV. However, a study in the medical journal Brain and Cognition found that every additional hour you spend watching TV increases your risk of developing Alzheimer's by 1.3%. Your best bet: Limit yourself to two hours of TV a day, max.
- Finally, getting plenty of sleep is the key to keeping your head on its toes. Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that sleep helps turn short-term memories into long-term memories, and makes it easier to retrieve those memories. So, try to get at least seven hours of sleep a night, and you'll be more brilliant by morning.