Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most! You’ve probably heard me say this before and laughed. But in all seriousness, retaining mental alertness and awareness is often what frightens most people about aging. Exercise has always been encouraged because it requires multitasking, which works the brain. But new evidence confirms that exercise triggers significant physiological and structural changes in the brain that can improve cognitive function and help prevent mental decline (Life Extension, April 2010).
In particular, running seems to have a positive impact on the hippocampus, which is the section of the brain responsible for learning and memory. Brain cells of runners performed better at spatial learning than those who don’t. Not a runner? Give it a try. I’ve never been in love with running, but I have always appreciated the results. This is just one more reason to give it a try. And certainly, any form of exercise will boost your brain rather than let it decline with a sedentary lifestyle.
Spring is a great time to start a new! Maybe your New Year’s Resolution or 2010 goals got derailed some. Don’t give up but refocus…and reconsider. Often times when we don’t achieve an objective, we really didn’t want to in the first place. We thought we should or felt pressure to perform based upon other’s opinions. Ask yourself these questions:
1. What are you good at?
2. What are you passionate about?
3. What need can you fill?
Do the answers to these questions match your target? If not, you may want to set a new course. I once wanted to play the piano. Through the years, I never could stick with it. I finally realized that I put pressure upon myself to learn something musical because most of the members of my family are musically inclined. It wasn’t my passion. Piano lessons took me away from active things, where are my passion. So I decided to pull it from my goal list. What a freeing feeling! I don’t have to do what others do…I have my unique gifts and talents. You do, too! The more in line with your passions, the greater your chances of success.
JUST FOR FUN
For those in the Northern Colorado area, I am the keynote speaker for the Northern Colorado Women’s Expo on April 15. It’s a free event, so please plan to join us a great night out!