Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ways to Get Smarter in 2012

To go along with last week's theme of new year's resolutions, I found  Newsweek's (January 9,  2012) list of 31 interesting ways to get smarter this year.  You can find the whole list at:  http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/12/30/31-ways-to-get-smarter-in-2012.all.html , but here are a few of their suggestions.
  • Do word puzzles--can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and dementia.
  • Learn a new language--to improve your prefontal cortex, which affects decision-making and emotions.  As an added benefit for child care providers, being bilingual can help you attract new customers, or better serve existing customers.
  • Eat dark chocolate--(YES!! oh, sorry, I got carried away...)--dark chocolate (and red wine) contain flavonoids which can help improve memory.
  • Hydrate--a dehydrated brain has to work harder; and the rest of your body will appreciate the water as well.
  • Visit an art museum--viewing art can reduce stress.  Field trip, maybe??
  • Learn to play a musical instrument--boosts IQ and can increase memory and coordination.
  • Eat yogurt--(I love these eating ones!)--can improve your ability to handle anxiety and increases activity in the parts of the brain that handle emotions and memory.  Your stomach may appreciate the probiotics too.
  • Get out of town...and back to nature--time on a crowded street can impair your memory and self-control, but spending some time in nature can help your brain recover.
Have fun taking care of yourself this year!

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