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Exercise is not only for your body…

September 23, 2010

Exercise your mind!

For years we have heard how mental exercises are instrumental in retaining mental acuity. As we age, we must be proactive about keeping our minds sharp. An article from the Mayo Clinic (here) shared seven tips to to do just that. The first suggestion is to do crossword puzzles, brain teasers, learn a musical instrument, and even take alterante routes when driving. These are the tasks which are typical suggestions for keeping an active mind. Regular socialization is also recommended to fight memory loss because of its stress and depression reducing effects. The third tip is to stay organized. This includes keeping the home orderly so you know where to find things when you need them, as well as writing down tasks and appointments. Saying the items out loud while you write them down can also strengthen the memory encoding process.

Keeping focused on the task at hand is another way to keep your mind sharp. Limiting multitasking and potential distractions is a great way to stay focused. A heart-healthy diet is also recommended, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The article notes that what is good for your heart is also good for your brain, so items recommended by organizations such as the American Heart Association are of great value to your body and mind. Proper water intake and alcohol limitation is also suggested to curb confusion and memory loss. Also, choose lean sources of protein such as skinless poultry, lean red meat, and fish. Physical activity, the sixth on the list, is a no-brainer. Exercise makes you feel great and increases blood flow to the entire body, including the brain.The ideal amount of physical exercise is a half an hour daily, and aerobic in nature. And finally, the last suggestion for healthy cognition is to manage chronic conditions, if any. Staying healthy and following your doctor’s orders are essential to managing reccuring health issues. If left unchecked, some conditions will eventually compromise your memory, such as thyroid problems, high blood pressure, and depression.

At firstSTREET, our goal is to bring you products that entertain as well as promote good health. Physical exercise can get harder as we grow older, and for our senior citizens we carry innovative items to facilitate their needs. The mini-bike exerciser is a portable workout for the arms and legs, easily used on a tabletop or floor. We carry everything from easy-grip exercise balls to blood pressure monitors, to walking shoes and adult tricycles & bicycles.

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For mental calisthenics, puzzles and brain teasers are a must-have. Currently, our set of 5 cast-iron brain busters is on sale. These cast-iron puzzles are challenging for both young and old.

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We have a great puzzle called the Hometown Puzzle, a new twist on a classic activity. Instead of putting together a picture of a major world city, these puzzles are customized pictures of YOUR hometown! Learn the routes, streets, and towns surrounding your home while exercising your mind.

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We have brain teaser books for written challenges, and an electronic 20 questions game in which the computer tries to guess what you’re thinking of in 20 questions or less!

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firstSTREET Crossword Dictionary

We also carry an electronic crossword dictionary for a leg-up when you get stumped during a crossword puzzle!

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firstSTREET Senior Moments Game

Finally, we offer our favorite board game, called Senior Moments.  This two to eight player game combines memory tests with your luck of the die, as well as Senior Moments cards to encourage thinking, remembering, and of course laughter.

So don’t wait another day to integrate the Mayo Clinic’s advice into your life. Living a healthy lifestyle is the best form of prevention. When it comes to  maintaining healthy cognition and memory, it doesn’t have to be difficult, just challenging. In fact, accomplishing such activities can be a lot of fun!

  1. The puzzles and games you featured look like so much fun! What a great reminder that staying active, both mentally and physically doesn’t have to be a chore. Activity can do wonders for the mind, body AND soul.

  2. This is a great idea! I can think of ten people to buy it for for Christmas!

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