Finding daily ways to challenge our minds is a simple way to improve mental sharpness, but is also important for physical health and happiness, according to Dr. Sandeep Grewal, author of Dementia Express.
Keeping the mind active as we age has a tangible and positive effect on our health and happiness, according to Dr. Sandeep Grewal, author of Dementia Express: Lose Your Memory in 100 Ways. Grewal, an internal medicine specialist practicing in South Carolina, says mental exercise is often overlooked.
“We fixate so much on our physical health as we age,” Dr. Grewal explains, “which means unfortunately sometimes we forget our own brains. We tend to think we’re getting all the mental exercise we need from daily life, but a lot of that brain function is essentially auto-pilot.”
Dr. Grewal says he wholeheartedly supports gatherings where patients everywhere benefit from doctors sharing the latest findings “on a global scale.”
“We now know that seniors who do mental exercises like crosswords or puzzles are less likely to experience falls as cognitive brain training has been shown to improve mobility. This is something every doctor should know.”
In his book, Dr. Grewal recommends finding daily ways to inject mental exercises into regular routines. For instance, he suggests avoiding the use of calculators whenever possible to challenge the brain to some basic math. Likewise for improved memory, he urges patients to not always rely on their cell phones to auto-dial frequently used numbers.
“Little things like remembering your friend’s phone number or even memorizing your favorite recipes can help you keep your mental muscles in better shape,” he writes. “Studies have shown how regular cognitive brain exercises improve happiness, improve relationships, and they lead to better overall physical health. So why wouldn’t we do it?”
One of Dr. Grewal’s favorite tips is encouraging patients to read things they normally wouldn’t. By reading about a subject we are unfamiliar with or even disinterested in, Grewal says it helps exercise those lesser used corners of the mind.
“It’s actually a perfect exercise for those with insomnia,” he adds with a smile. “Because it challenges us in ways that our normal reading diet won’t, and this heavier form of reading can coax someone to sleep more easily.”
Mixing things up is also important, Grewal insists. Learning new routes to and from work challenges us, as does watching a subtitled film or doing sudoku.
“These exercises are fun and easy,” he adds, “usually a lot easier than doing sit ups.”
Grewal’s book Dementia Express is available at Amazon. Dr. Sandeep Grewal is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He was awarded the Innovation in Healthcare award by the Charlotte Business Journal in 2012, in addition to being named one of the “40 under 40” in 2013.
Editor’s note: This article was provided by the Ace Medical Group.