Clarendon Hills, IL, September 13, 2015 --(PR.com
)-- We all know it’s important to exercise our bodies, but what about our minds? Residents of The Birches Assisted Living in Clarendon Hills, Ill. spent the month of August flexing their mental muscles through neurobics— a form of mental exercise that engages different parts of the brain.
Birches’ Activities Director Katie Klitchman instituted weekly neurobics sessions throughout August to help residents keep their minds sharp and ward off cognitive decline.
“If you don’t use it, you lose it,” said Klitchman. “I think that saying is especially relevant when it comes to keeping your mind and memory strong as you age.”
Klitchman encouraged residents to practice cognitive exercises promoted by Dr. Rob Winningham, a professor of psychology and gerontology at Western Oregon University with a PhD in Neuroscience. Winningham has spent close to 20 years studying memory and cognition and published a book in 2010 called “Train Your Brain: How to Maximize Memory Ability in Older Adulthood.”
In his book, Winningham emphasizes a well-rounded approach to maintaining a healthy memory that includes physical exercise and a healthy diet, but also emphasizes regular mental exercise, such as cognitively stimulating video games and apps or popular brain-boosting games like Sudoku— a favorite among residents at The Birches.
“I think Sudoku has been one of the more popular forms of neurobics at The Birches,” said Klitchman. “It really forces residents to use their brains differently, even more so than crossword puzzles, which many of them have been doing for years and have gotten kind of used to.”
Klitchman received additional inspiration from Dr. Lawrence Katz and Rubin Manning, who popularized the term “neurobics” in their 1998 book “Keep Your Brain Alive.” In the book, Katz and Rubin promote the practice of unique daily exercises that challenge your brain in different ways, such as closing your eyes while you perform everyday tasks, performing everyday tasks with your non-dominant hand or writing your name backward.
Whatever type of neurobic exercises you decide to practice, neurobics experts agree that consistency is key. Klitchman says The Birches’ month-long focus on neurobics was designed to get residents in the habit of a daily neurobics workout and inspire them with new and different ways to build their brain.
“It’s all about creating an exercise routine and practicing it every day, just like you would for your body,” said Klitchman. “We’re a Masterpiece Living community, which means we focus on all components of health, including intellectual health, so residents have plenty of opportunities to participate in activities that exercise their brain like our Scrabble Club, Dakim and Book Club. They just have to make a commitment to keeping their mind strong.”
The Birches Assisted Living in Clarendon Hills is a premier retirement community dedicated to providing professional services that support its residents’ physical, social, intellectual and spiritual growth. The Birches offers a full calendar of purposeful programs and activities designed to promote a healthy aging lifestyle and a strong sense of community. For more information about The Birches, call 630-789-1135 or visit: birches.net.