The purpose of this blog is to promote and celebrate the lives and achievements of those of us who are 50+ years of age, including Baby Boomers.
It will look at their lives and experiences, at families, friendships, relationships, love, romance, lifestyles, work, hobbies, retirement accommodation types, holidays, health, etc.
This first post looks briefly at one aspect of aging that affects many people—the brain losing its sharpness—and at some of the things we can do about it. But I am sure you know many more, which you may care to share.
Even those boomers whose brains are still relatively sharp, should not be complacent. It is never too soon to start the fight to keep your brain sharp and minimise the ravaging effects of time on it
“Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.” John Adams (U.S. second President)
I suppose the modern expression that best relates to the above quotation is ‘use it or lose it.’ Whichever choice of words you prefer the message is still the same; an idle mind is a dying mind. And if this was the case so long ago could things be even worse now. After all, minds used to the stimulation of modern life and technology must suffer when no longer exposed to it.
It is a sad fact of life that the brain tends to lose its sharpness with the passing of time. Sadly, this is inclined to go hand in hand with fading memory and the two together can have disastrous results.
Ironically for many people, the very period in their lives when they most need mental stimulation is the one in which they lose one of the greatest stimulants—work. However, even without this, there are still ample opportunities to keep the brain sharp.
Quizzes are an excellent way to stimulate the brain, particularly if one has to do some research in advance. Crosswords are also a great tool and the use of a dictionary, thesaurus, or the Internet should not be seen as a failure. Rather it should be recognised that this research has the benefit of introducing new words or knowledge.
Puzzles like Sudoku, Real Kakuro, and various logic puzzles also have a place in keeping one’s mind on its ‘A’ game. And I feel that even some computer and games console games have a part to play. They can involve solving puzzles, or working out which weapon to use in any given scenario. But they can also involve complicated tactics and strategy, and complex manufacturing and trading situations.
My own major attempt to keep my brain in good shape has been to write a novel. Having never written one before, and not even read a single book in the genre I selected this was quite a challenge. The amount of research required and the techniques that had to be learnt were quite daunting. But at the same time, I hadn’t felt this mentally alert in a few years and at times my mind was positively buzzing.
So, creating and writing this novel has been my main attempt keep my brain sharp. What are you doing to keep your own brain in the best possible condition?