What makes you stupid?

I finally got a chance to start reading this book: The Mature Mind

On page 8 it lists these factors, repeated over time, as being responsible for the decline of brain function….. not age itself

  1. stress
  2. excessive drug and alcohol abuse
  3. inactivity
  4. smoking
  5. obesity
  6. malnutrition
  7. social isolation

Interestingly, many Americans these days have issues with several if not all of these factors. I have also seen these factors in lists of things that shorten people’s life spans. It looks like in addition to killing ourselves we are making ourselves dumber.

I read in the book that new brain cells and new connections can happen throughout life. Brain power, new talents, and new skills can be developed up until death. I have seen many of those “build your brainpower” books over the years, but this book is based on scientific research which lists these 5 things which have been proven to boost brain power as well as reduce the risk of dementia:

  1. Learning something challenging
  2. Aerobic, rhythmic exercise
  3. Mastering something
  4. Pick challenging leisure activities
    1. Dancing
    2. Playing board games
    3. Playing a musical instrument
    4. Doing crossword puzzles
    5. Reading
  5. Establish strong social networks

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