Larissa Fauber's Reviews > Keep Your Brain Alive: 83 Neurobic Exercises to Help Prevent Memory Loss and Increase Mental Fitness

Keep Your Brain Alive by Lawrence Katz
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's review
Mar 19, 2012

really liked it

You may now forget the idea that the older you grow the less brain cells you have. “Keep Your Brain Alive” shows how studies regarding our brain are full of misconceptions. It starts by explaining what really occurs in our brains and what we have to do in order to maintain it working well.

Firstly, the authors assert that new brain cells are generated in adults (according to a 1998 study from American and Sweden scientists). In addition, contrary to popular belief, mental decline is not due to the death of nerve cells. The real reason is that the dendrites (the branches on nerve cells that receive information from other cells) are decreased as time goes by. However, it was proved that old neurons can develop dendrites to make up for this loss.

Having said that, what do we have to do to keep our brain alive? Very simple, just like the physical exercises help the body performance, the “Neurobics” can improve our mental capacity. “Neurobics” is a science-based program to help you modify your behavior, introducing the unexpected in your brain and mobilizing the help of all your senses throughout the day. The 3 main characteristics of a neurobic exercise is that it has to involve one or more senses in a new context, focus your attention and the transformation of a routine activity in something unexpected and non-trivial.

Thus, “an active brain is a healthy brain, while an inactive brain loses its capacity. Or, in simpler words: use it or lose it” (page 37). From my point of view, the most important part of the book focuses on which exercises to do. Below there is a list of the exercises described in the book. Hands on!

-Change your morning olfactory association: if you usually wake up with the smell of coffee, change it for something different, such as vanilla, lemon or mint.

-Have a shower with your eyes closed: this will activate your other senses.

-Brush your teeth with the other hand: this will activate the opposite side of your brain.

-Chose your clothes with your eyes closed: it activates your tactful senses.

-Use earplugs in the morning to try the world without sound.

- Introduce new things daily: change your routine order (have a shower after having breakfast or the other way round); if you always have bread for breakfast, try something different such as oatmeal or tea; change the radio station you always listen to or watch a TV program you never do; walk your dog through a new way or explore other paths when you do your walking.

- Read aloud with your partner and take turns.

- Drive to your work taking a different journey.

- Open your car and start it with your eyes closed.

- Exchange your car with a friend to go to work or if you are the one always driving, try going on the back seat.

- Open the windows while you drive to smell new aromas.

- Create a can with a smell (e.g.: cut a sponge in small cubicles, drop a liquid on them and place them on a can) and try to associate a place with that smell. For instance, open a can and smell it when you are in the kitchen. Try to have one can for each area of your house or places outside. Your brain will associate the smell with the place you go. You may also associate a song with the smell of a can.

- Be sociable. Try talking to a person you do not know. Scientific studies have proved that the lack of a sociable life may do severe harm to your cognitive ability.

- Have solidarity thoughts.

- Change the place of things in your house/work.
- Learn Braille or the sign language.

- Take somebody to your work for a change.

- Have a break for your brains: when you have a break for coffee your brain can relax.

- Play chess. Start a new hobby. Take care of a garden.

- Try doing something you always do with the other hand.

- Visit a street market and pay attention to the smell of each stand.

- Change the path you always take in the supermarket, if you always start by buying vegetables, start in a different section.

- If you always sit down on the same place while having breakfast, change it with other member of your family. If you live alone, invite somebody for dinner (I’m always available for this kind of invitation haha).

- Try eating with your nose closed and only “tasting” the food with your tongue.

- Try having food that you used to eat when you were a child.

- Change the order you eat on the day: have your breakfast in the evening and vice versa.

- Change the environment: candle lights, lights with different colours or even flowers stimulate the brain.

- Have breakfast with items from other countries, such as croissant (France), tortillas (Mexico) and so on.

- Close your eyes and try to identify the food you will eat (or the wine you’ll drink).

- Go to a different restaurant, go camping, go on holidays to a very different place, or just take the car and drive without specific destination.

- Create a video, form a band, prepare a script, act!

There is so much to do. Keep your brain alive and you will be able to do like the old ladies of a convent in Europe: they are so active and lucid in their 80 years old of age. You have no need to be scatterbrained. Amazing book= amazing brain!
Larissa Fauber

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Reading Progress

March 19, 2012 – Started Reading
March 19, 2012 – Shelved
March 19, 2012 –
page 8
March 20, 2012 –
page 27
March 21, 2012 –
page 32
March 22, 2012 –
page 40
March 22, 2012 –
page 74
March 23, 2012 –
page 84
March 23, 2012 –
page 93
March 23, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Tariq (new)

Tariq i hope i will try,
and thnx for putting some effort on different topic that is quite full of information and suggestions are very helpful to produce and increase the brain productivity.

Larissa Fauber Thank you for your comment, Tariq. It's amazing to see you in Goodreads :) Be blessed :)

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