Cross Train Your Brain

As we age, our bodies tend to deteriorate. Muscles shrink. Hearts and lungs weaken. We can counteract these with regular exercise, but there’s one very important part of our bodies that often gets overlooked in most fitness routines.

For Russ and daughter Vivienne, reading out loud is a heavy-duty exercise routine. They’re not building muscle. They’re building brain connections.

A brain researcher says, “Many different areas of the brain are activated by the act of reading aloud as opposed to reading silently to yourself.”

He calls this neurobics, doing usual things in unusual ways. He says it builds brain connections improving brain fitness. Even closing your eyes works. “Just simply feeling around is activating maps of your world that you have in your brain, but activating them through the sense of touch rather than the sense of sight”.

Try switching hand when you brush your teeth. “The feeling people get, ‘Wow, this is strange,’ is actually your brain focusing its attention on a new and a novel task involving a whole different set of sensory inputs,” he says.

Try having dinner somewhere other than the kitchen. Dr. Katz says neurobics is all about change. “People should feel free to start this at any time in life, whether you’re 30 or 80,” he says.

Dr. doesn’t guarantee a better memory, but does say you’ll stay sharper and have fun along the way. Other neurobic activites include changing your route to work, temporarily turning photos upside down and camping out.

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