A new book by former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona suggests that brain stimulating exercises such as puzzles and crosswords might be a key to preventing memory loss.

In Canyon Ranch 30 Days to a Better Brain, Carmona explains the anatomy of the brain and gives advice on how to keep the mind agile and sharp. Some of the strategies Dr. Carmona recommends for combatting the effects of aging on the mind include adequate sleep, good nutrition, exercise and brain-stimulating exercises.

In a recent interview, Dr. Carmona equated brain-stimulating exercise to physical exercise.  “As we get older, if we don’t exercise our biceps, they atrophy. And if you don’t continue to stimulate the mind, it does tend to undergo atrophy, too. MRI images show the brain shrinks if you don’t use it. It requires that you develop the neural network. It’s not clear whether a crossword puzzle is better than a video game. But generally, challenging and stimulating the brain with new things is good.”

So break out that crossword puzzle, play that online puzzle game, or work that jigsaw–It might be just what your brain needs.

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