September is National Healthy Aging Month. Maintaining a sharp mind is a key component of healthy aging. There is more to this than remembering to take medication and to keep your doctor’s appointments. A person with her mental faculties is engaged in life, whether it is through political discussions, preparing for a book group meeting, pursing a volunteer cause or keeping in touch with far away family by learning how to Skype, text and email. Our enjoyment of life is multiplied by our ability connect with others in meaningful ways; a sharp mental capacity supports this. People also need to be able to overcome obstacles and to remain optimistic in the face of adversity. These two skills are rooted in the strength and quality of our thoughts. At Home Care Assistance, we celebrate healthy aging every day with our Balanced Care Method (BCM). The BCM is our approach to whole-person wellness, which includes activities for mental stimulation.
Exercise and nutrition play a tremendous role in maintaining our grey matter because a brain needs food and oxygen. Every time we do something physical we encourage brain maintenance, because our body has to be instructed on how to move, to coordinate hands and feet, to measure distance, and to adjust to environmental changes. Nutritious food is critical to this equation because it both feeds the brain and helps repair damage to it from the stress of daily living.
So, you may be wondering why this post includes a quiz and not a list of exercise and foods to eat. Take a look at a prior blog post on our Lincoln website, covering overall brain health for what to eat and good exercise suggestions.
Now, let’s go back to the reasons for a quiz. Every time a person uses his noodle it gets stronger. The best mental exercise is doing something new. Learning is the pinnacle of brain exercises, because we can grow our brains at any age. So learn a new type of puzzle, a new game, a new hobby, or a language and expand your mind, literally and figuratively. Remembering also causes us to strengthen existing neural pathways. Quizzes help build our brains by combining learning and remembering.
Here’s my prescription, have fun, learn something, eat some walnuts and dark chocolate, and in between quiz sections, do a few leg lifts. Lastly, don’t forget to send this quiz to your friends and compete for the best score! All these parts add up to a sharper mind.
Hey, that’s a line from a movie…
1. Merry Christmas, and may God bless us, everyone.
2. Eliza, where the devil are my slippers?
3. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.
4. After all tomorrow is another day!
5. Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
6. His name will live as long a there is a ball, a bat, and a boy.
7. I know the perfect place; you guys will love it. Trust me.
8. As you wish.
9. I now pronounce you men and wives.
10. Mein Fuhrer, I can walk!
a. Beverly Hills Cop
b. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
c. Dr. Strangelove
d. My Fair Lady
e. The Shawshank Redemption
g. The Babe Ruth Story
h. A Christmas Carol
i. Gone With the Wind
j. The Princess Bride
Who was that masked man? (TV personalities)
11. Goodnight, Dick.
12. And that’s the way it is.
13. And so it goes.
14. Say goodnight, Gracie.
15. Bless your pea-pickin’ hearts.
a. Linda Ellerbee
b. George Burns
c. Walter Cronkite
d. Dick Martin
e. Tennessee Ernie Ford
Not really the end… (TV series finales)
16. Sorry, we’re closed.
17. Oh, I went ahead and ordered something for the table
18. I don’t care what you say; I’m coming to work Monday!
19. The day the running stopped.
20. Good-bye (spelled in stones).
b. The Sopranos
e. The Fugitive
1 h; 2 d; 3 e; 4 i; 5 f; 6 g; 7 a; 8 j; 9 b; 10 c; 11 d; 12 c; 13 a; 14 b; 15 e; 16 c; 17 b; 18 d; 19 e; 20 a.
How did you do? Even if you missed a few, you’re sharper than when you started.
(Part of a quiz published in AARP magazine last year.)