Three times a day, close the door, remove your shoes and socks, and lower the lights. Breathe in for 7 seconds; hold it for another 7; then exhale for a final 7 seconds. Repeat the technique seven times to help “reset” your brain and get your cortisol levels under control. Research has shown that mindful relaxation techniques are associated with an increase in the size of your hippocampus in as little as 8 weeks.
Brain Booster 4: Tease Your Memory
While we may feel our memories just aren’t what they used to be, we actually have an innate ability to remember just about anything – so long as we train ourselves to use the right mechanisms. It may shock you, but you have the ability to memorize a list of 20 or 30 items, simply by forming big, important, or even silly associations with each item. For example, say you need to remember the word “baker.” If you think of a friend with the last name “Baker” you may have some success. If, however, you think of a bread baker, wearing a white hat and apron, doused in flour, surrounded by the aroma of freshly baked croissants, you won’t forget the word “baker” for days! You can do the same with a shopping list, a to-do chart, or just about anything, so long as you associate high-importance with all 20 items. Doing so will have a positive, expansive effect on your hippocampus, fighting off Alzheimer's.
Brain Booster 5: Brain Push-Ups
Dr. Fotuhi believes push-ups – yes, just good old-fashioned push-ups – are the most important step to strengthening your “brain muscles” and preventing Alzheimer’s. Proper form, however, is key. Start on the floor, with your hands set at about a shoulder-width distance, angling your hands in a way that feels comfortable. Extend your legs, with your feet also in a comfortable position, generally shoulder-width apart or wider for more stability. Be sure your body is in one straight line from your head to your heels; avoid having your butt or belly either sagging or sticking up. Clenching your butt cheeks and tightening your abs will ensure you’ve engaged your core. Keeping your gaze forward, slowly lower until your elbows form a 90-degree angle, keeping your arms in tight to your body. Then, push yourself back up, still keeping your elbows tight and your core engaged. For additional support when first starting out, keep your knees bent on the floor and do modified push-ups. Either way, 7 push-ups or more a day will help stimulate blood flow to your brain and generate new brain cells, which is the most effective weapon in fighting cognitive disease.
Using each of these techniques on a daily basis will boost your brain and ward off Alzheimer’s. Be sure to supplement them with another vital component in the fight against memory loss – Dr. Oz and Dr. Fotuhi’s Brain Diet. Click here for the complete Brain Diet.