Q. I've heard you speak about the importance of doing Brain Aerobic Exercises on a regular basis, but I've done some (okay, sort of hit-and-miss), and I don't really feel any different. It makes me wonder if they are worth the work.
A. My criteria for doing Brain Aerobic Exercises have nothing to do with whether or not I "feel" anything. My brain's opinion is that challenging your brain for a minimum of 30 minutes every day is more than worth the work and generally pays high dividends in the future. Interestingly enough, I recently received an unsolicited e-mail from a woman who attended one of my brain seminars years ago. In part, this is what she said:
"Last April a young snowboarder crashed into me so hard that it caused me to fly through the air and bounce several times on my head on hard ice. The snowboarder did not stop! Unfortunately, I sustained a bloody right eye and a concussion that was identified by CAT scan. An MRI also revealed a serious injury to my right knee.
"In the Emergency Department the doctor’s first question was, 'Are you really 69?' As he reviewed with me the results of my brain scan, the doctor described how the brain halves begin to separate with age, allowing the tissue in the middle to become more fragile from lack of protection. The doctor also explained that tissue, when separated, is at increased risk for tearing and massive brain 'bleeds.' He wanted to know what I was doing to keep my brain 'exercised' and to maintain such a healthy 'tight' brain. So I told him about you and your work, including your research, seminars I have attended, your educational books, DVDs, and CDs.
"My point is that your information and brain exercises have really worked for my brain and, without knowing it, you probably saved my life. Thank you so much for providing me with tools to help me help my brain!"
The writer was very generous. The key phrase for me was "to help me help my brain." I gave her some tools, definitely. She decided to use them, consistently. You will have to decide how much time and energy you want to invest in your brain, in challenging your neurons to keep stretched out and as healthy as possible, and in age-proofing your brain. You may never experience such a potentially life-threatening concussion. But your brain is aging minute after hour after day after year. My brain's opinion is that doing Brain Aerobic Exercises is absolutely worth the work. Almost daily another piece of research confirms how critically important it is for you to keep your brain challenged, stimulated, and active!