Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Making a Good Brain Great

I arrived back from travel late last night. Then stayed up too late watching election results roll in (on the internet).

I read a great book on the weekend – “How to Make a Good Brain Great” by Daniel Amen M.D. He studies brain function scientifically using brain scans. He runs a “Brain” clinic specializing in helping people with problem brains. Many people unknowingly injure their brains through minor accidents and then wonder why they are having problems in some parts of their life.

The thesis of the book, which seems perfectly logical, is that the brain is responsible to a large extent for our overall health. He believes and provides proof that we can “repair” and improve our brain function.

Most of good brain health is just normal clean living and healthy lifestyle. He advocates aerobic exercise (more blood pumped to the head). He suggests trying new things to challenge the brain (I do this all the time).

The only part that I do not totally agree with or follow is his guide to supplementation. Some of what he advocates, I do like drinking green tea and taking multivitamins but I am not big on taking many supplements. We are in sync on eating a healthy diet including lots of essential fatty acids like ground flax and fish oil.

He advocates laughter something I have been trying to add to my lifestyle.

Overall, I have a very brain healthy lifestyle. The only exception to that might be sleep. He advocates getting 6-8 hours of sleep per night and never seem to find the time for that. This said, it is on my list to try to get to bed earlier.

Interesting that he is a big advocate of table tennis as a good brain sport since the Estill family is big on this (although I don’t play as much as my father or brothers).

The book has 13 steps to exercise your brain. Some of these I do naturally – like “dedicate yourself to learning”, “limit TV”, “Limit video games (sometimes I play too much online chess”. Others I can easily add like “break routine”.

He also has a 15 day program to a healthier brain. I won’t give you the program – you will have to read the book for that. It is a great book and worth the read.


At 4:15 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Jim, that's awesome that you started a company like that from the back of your car!

Good for you. : )


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