I've always been that student. The one in the front of the class, asking "why". Throughout my post High School educational career (2000-2011) I have found myself becoming a better educator because I take the time to learn as much as I can about a topic before instructing, counseling or motivating others. One of the biggest problems in our society today is that most people like quick answers. When it comes to research and making conclusions, nothing is done quickly and that frustrates people. They don't have time to "work" on their own lifesyle so they need a quick fix (ex. meal plan, diet fad, answer from a forum) as to how make changes yesterday rather than learning how to make for a better tomorrow.
I never feel content just scratching the surface of any topic. I can't be an expert in everything but I can use my resources to be as up-to-date as possible to make educated choices and to better serve the public.
I recently read two great articles on the brain which ironically, got me thinking. It got me thinking about the value of our brain as the primary tool for keeping us healthy and well for the rest of our life. Without it...we couldn't make decisions that help us cross finish lines, eat a balanced diet, love others or perform well at work.
The first article was on the topic of Stroke (from Nutrition Action Nov 2012 issue) and how to keep the brain in working order. The second article was from The Wellness Advisor (Fall '12/Winter '13 issue).
Both articles were great with lots of research supported statements and practical suggestions. I wanted to share some of the article from The Wellness Advisor titled "Are your diet and lifestyle causing your brain to age faster than your body?" By Daniel G. Amen M.D.
A little about Dr. Amen: Clinical neuroscientist, psychiatrist and brain imaging expert who heads the world-renowned Amen Clinics. He has authored 29 books and is an internationally recognized keynote speaker and host of six popular public TV specials.
When we think about how well we're aging, we care about wrinkles on our faces and the fat around our bellies. Those are the things we can see in the mirror. But we don't get that sort of feedback on how well our brains are aging until it's late in the aging process. In truth, the fountain of youth is between your ears. When you get up in the morning and look in the mirro, you probably think "I need to wash my face and comb my hair." Because your brain doesn't have a mirror,we don't care about it until we can't remember things. Or we feel cognitively tired and start making bad decisions. A lot of people 40 years and older think that memory problems are normal. Not all of them are normal. It may be a sign of trouble.
Every choice you make today will either help or hurt your brain. Here are some concepts to consider1) Develop brain envy: You've got to care. You must start honoring, loving and respecting your brain. 2) There are many things we do to accelerate brain agining. A lousy diet,chronic stress, poor sleeping habits, being overweight and having hormonal imbalances are some of the most common. Hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and any other kind of vascular disease that decreases blood flow to the brain will also be detrimental. 3) There are many things you can start doing today to slow, or even reverse, the brain's aging process. Get enough sleep, keep your blood sugar in balance, get plenty of physical and mental exercise, have a sense of passion, meaning and purpose, maintain healthy cholesterol levels to keep a healthy blood flow to your brain.
Think of your brain as a computer. If the hardware isn't right, it will be more difficult to learn. It's critical to respect both your hardware and your software.