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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Tips to Improve Your Chess…if you are over 28.

   As people age, they often experience memory loss, reduced concentration, and other cognitive problems. Diet and lifestyle, though, can improve cognitive performance and reverse some aspects of brain aging.
     According to brain-aging expert, Dr. Timothy Salthouse, cognitive capabilities usually peak at 22 and Salthouse finds that on average, by age 28, signs of cognitive decline begin to show up. By 38, signs of memory loss increase. Most people may not notice these declines until much later. 
     Paul McGlothin, president of Living the CR Way.com and instructor for cognitive improvement says "Science shows that people can get rid of the brain fog they experience as they get older."
     McGlothin recommends a doctor visit to check blood sugar levels and if it’s OK, then explore is blood sugar management. Research suggests that keeping blood glucose at healthful levels improves short-term intellectual performance and protects against age-related decline of critical parts of the brain that are important for memory and decision making. An exercise regimen can also help one relax and it improves concentration.
     Research has also found that high cholesterol levels in your 40's or younger increases the risk of dementia (a disorder of memory, thinking and behavior) which includes Alzheimer's disease.
     Dementia worsens over time, progressing from a mild to a moderate and finally to a severe stage. The mental capacities that decline include recent memory, the capacity to use and understand words, comprehension of what is going on around you and many other things. All this can cause confusion about time and place, who people are and about everyday objects we take for granted like a knife and fork. Other symptoms include being agitated and restless, walking aimlessly, wanting to escape, and wandering.
     The good news is we can take steps to prevent dementia. Professor Kaarin Anstey from the Centre for Mental Health Research at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia published her findings on the link between high cholesterol and dementia in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Another study on dementia published by John Hopkins University found that obesity increased the risk of dementia by 80%. Other risk factors include heavy drinking and smoking, as well as high blood pressure in your 40's. So, to help prevent dementia maintain healthy levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, keep consumption of alcohol low and exercise. There’s another way, too.
     I Play OO Chess says, “Your life success is the direct result of what and how you think. The thought processes running incessantly in your brain are responsible for everything you manifest throughout life. So if you want to increase your success rate, the first place to start is to improve your mind. You need to redesign your brain. You have some rewiring to do."
     "Now the question is, how you may change your brain? In school they don’t teach you how to think and how to design your mind for a great brain. What they do instead is cramming young heads with information and testing their recall.”
     "As you strive to reshape your brain and become more effective and creative in your life, you need to tap into all those elements of mind that come into play: analysis, memory, intuition, creativity, fantasy, desire for results, goal-oriented thinking, etc. What design tool you need? What may be an ideal laboratory for you to redesign your mind?” The answer? Play chess!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this. I agree with your ultimate recommendation of playing chess as an antidote for brain aging. I think long games that allow time to calculate variations are especially valuable.In 2013, research was released showing that intense concentration improves critical components of brain function. Certainly long chess games are one of the best ways to practice this.