Invest Now: Create a Functional Reserve
No, this is not a soliloquy on the timing of the stock market. This is a call for comprehensive inventory-of and programming-for your wellness. Many people are thinking about their “steps per day” as this can be convenient to track, compare, and gamify. Some are becoming more aware of the need for strength training as we age. Slightly harder to gamify, but certainly more accessible in so many more modes than prior generations had access due to gyms, home equipment, trainers, and the science of dosage. How many of us are considering our cognitive fitness? Still fewer may be doing something about it, due to the contrast of what was just stated for strength training. For cognitive fitness, we don’t know about dosage, we don’t have clear accessible programs, trainers, gyms, or home equipment. Or do we?
Recent evidence has proven that engaging in novel stimuli that are diverse in their representation of the different aspects of cognition or executive function, can help us to create a functional reserve – mitigating losses, perhaps…or maybe just elevating the place from which we decline. Can we find means by which to challenge our problem solving, capacity to hold onto novel information, recall old information, or generate novel solutions? These 4 categories, listed in the same order, could be labeled: process, hold, recall, and generate. Look for ways to stimulate yourself regularly in these categories…or follow me here for the next few blogs to learn more about them. August will be my functional reserve month!
2 thoughts on “Invest Now: Create a Functional Reserve”
Mike- nice intro to this subject- FYI- two on line free games I play regularly that may help some- “wordlook” – where you unscramble letters to make common words & “Tile Connect” where you must match shapes but have a time limit- two different mental skills that are stimulating & rewarding . As you know I love things that create both concentration & speed
Excellent Mike. Two of the best ways to promote neuroplasticity are to learn to play and instrument (or a new one) or learn to speak a new language. Additionally learning how to play a new sport or physical activity game incorporates all aspects of neuro-learning/stimulus. But there are so many ways, just put ego aside and embrace the joy of learning and improving overall function.
I have just had my first venture into Pickleball. I was a pretty good tennis player and a very good racquetball player in past, but I was a complete beginner to this game. Fun, yet challenging and frustrating. It will take many sessions for my brain to train my body to be a very good player. But, committing to the learning journey is the point and the fun.