Q: Your article on sarcopenia and the need for weight training for seniors stirred me to start exercising again. Now, I am hearing that we also need to practice "brain fitness." Can you enlighten us?
A: Glad you asked I need a little brain fitness myself. If you explore the Wikipedia Web site, brain fitness is described as the capacity for a person to meet the various cognitive demands of life. A major hypothesis is that improvement in cognitive abilities through brain exercise represents brain fitness, in an analogy with how physical exercise produces physical fitness. Brain fitness typically seeks to improve attention, memory, thinking and stress management.
According to a leading expert, neuropsychologist Dr. Paul Nussbaum, adjunct associate professor in neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, "When people first hear of the potential for 'strengthening' their brains, they become excited because they fear Alzheimer's." So, how can you strengthen your brain? Nussbaum cites five areas science suggests have the potential to slow or forestall the effects of aging.