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July 10, 2010

Sippin Saturdays ~ Keep it Nutritious: 10 Things You Can Do to Avoid Summer “Brain Drain”

I've had the honor of working with Melissa Berry Stolper when I'm creating posts on Kitten Lounge as she does PR for various brands! But it was a recent conversation that brought us to nutrition which is something that she also knows about. Expect to read posts that talk about ways for us to maintain our health as we're all running at 5,000 miles an hour! Keep it Nutritious is a great addition to Kitten Lounge! Last week, Melissa talked about balancing life's energy.This week, she talks about maintaining our brain health and to avoid Brain Drain! If you have questions for Melissa about this subject, you can reach out to her here!

This summer, temperatures are reaching all time highs. As the summer vacation heats up and leaves us feeling drained, it’s important to keep our brains in shape.
Dr. Cynthia Green
, one of America’s foremost memory fitness and brain health experts, has given us some tips on keeping our brains sharp. Try some (or all) of these pointers to maximize you brain health and leave you feeling smarter, and happier, in no time!

1. Take a Walk: Get off that couch and onto your feet! Studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise (the kind where you can't keep up a conversation) boosts daily intellectual performance and significantly lowers the risk for dementia. If it’s too hot to walk outside, take a brisk stroll around a mall in the air conditioning.

2. Go Swimming (And Lose that Spare Tire!): Studies have shown that maintaining a healthy weight with a low ratio of “belly fat” can significantly lower the risk for a memory disorder. Stick to a healthy, well-balanced diet, maintain an appropriate weight, and balance your intake of alcohol and caffeine.

3. Follow Doctor's Orders: Staying on top of your medical care is key. Managing chronic conditions, such as hypertension or diabetes, can significantly reduce the risk for stroke and dementia. Also, taking care of medical issues such as hearing or vision loss can have tremendous impacts in your ability to learn new information, such as names.

4. Get Your Zzzzz's: Use these summer months to sleep more and take care of your own personal health. Choices such as how much sleep we get, how stressed we feel, and what risks we take impact daily memory performance and brain health. Emotional distress can lower everyday ability and may even increase the risk for memory impairment. Get a good night's sleep, avoid risky behaviors, and don't ignore emotional upsets.

5. Play PacMan: Play games against the clock. Timed activities force you to pay attention, work fast, and think nimbly – you can't beat the clock without doing so! Spend 10 to 20 minutes every day giving your everyday intellectual skills a good workout. Play board games like Boggle or Set. Check out handheld electronic games like Simon or Nintendo DS games.

6. Learn How to Remember: While you’re stuck in traffic or waiting at a doctor’s office, use you brain in a positive way. Learn strategies to enhance your daily recall, such as making a connection between something you are learning (like the name “Florence”) and something you already know (such as the actress Florence Henderson). Date books and “to-do” lists are essential for keeping track of the things you have to do but that aren't worth memorizing.

7. Get (Summer) Schooled: With kids away at camp and nothing but time ahead of you, why not pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read? Staying intellectually engaged can significantly lower risks for memory impairment, in some cases by as much as 63%! Intellectual engagement offers opportunities to socialize and supports emotional well-being. If you like to read, look for a local book club where you can engage with other like-minded mothers. Also, look for activities out of your comfort zone – if you like to read, try a pottery class. You are never too old to learn something new!

8. Go Out with the Gang: Staying social can cut your risk for memory impairment in half. Go out with your girlfriends, host a picnic in the park, or attend a summer concert with old pals. Keeping up a conversation forces you to stay focused, think fast and be nimble with your neurons.

9. Get a Job: Working or volunteering can improve your daily intellectual performance, as you have the chance to engage both mentally and socially. More complex work settings, such as those that require you to supervise others, have been associated with a reduced risk for dementia. Working or volunteering might also give you a sense of purpose, which researchers at Rush Medical Center in Chicago recently found may also protect from memory impairment.

10. Perfect the Power of Positive Thinking: If you want to remember more effectively, believe that you can! Self-perception can impact performance. If a baseball player thinks he'll never hit it a homerun, chances are he never will. Similarly, if you’re convinced that your memory is lousy, it probably will be! Practice the power of positive thinking and believe in your memory.

Dr. Cynthia R Green:

Dr. Cynthia R. Green, Ph.D. is a nationally recognized expert in memory fitness training and brain health, as well as an acclaimed author, respected lecturer, and sought-after spokesperson. She has appeared on Good Morning America, 20/20, CNBC, and National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation,” as well as in the pages of Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, Forbes, The Washington Post, AARP, The London Standard, Good Housekeeping, Prevention, and Parenting. Dr Green is also the founder and president of Memory Arts, LLC, a company that provides memory fitness and brain health training to organizations, corporations, and individuals. Most recently, Dr. Green collaborated with the editors of Prevention on a popular book titled, Brainpower Game Plan: Food, Moves, and Games to Clear Brain Fog, Boost Memory, and Age-Proof Your Mind in 4 Weeks. The book features a scientifically grounded 30-day “game plan” that encourages adults to build better brain health habits through exercise, diet, and practical, brain training techniques. For more information, please visit http://totalbrainhealth.com.

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Kimmie is a Celebrity Statement Fashion Stylist, Style/Accessory Expert and TV Personality who is the Co-Founder and Style Director of Athleisure Mag. She is also the Fashion Editor of DJ Mag and contributor to MIMI (Time Inc's beauty site) and Vogue.it. Accessory Agenda is a behind the scenes look at her work on and off set as well as items that are on her essential list for your wardrobe.

As a Fashion Stylist, Kimmie's work has been worn on a number of celebrities, personalities and has been published within an array of magazines (Esquire, DJ Mag, Heaven Has Heels, Velvet Magazine Dubai and more). You can see more of her work at Statement Stylist as well as her full portfolio. You can also find out more about Mens Athleisure which is co-founded by Kimmie focusing on menswear fashion editorials.

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