Friday, January 06, 2006

Use Your Brain

I just got the Woman's Day Specials Easy Knit and Crochet Ideas magazine, and on page 16 there is a little blurb I thought was interesting. I heard this on the news several months ago, and it was a great reminder and thought I would share it with everyone. Here is what it says:

"Recent research in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that engaging
your brain with challenging tasks can help ward off dementia and reduce your
risk of Alzheimer's disease by as much as 75 percent. So add some
complexity to your hobby from time to time: Learn a new stitch, try out a
new pattern or design something yourself."

Ok, so the news didn't have the last sentence, but the rest of it was discussed. They had suggested trying to do different things that would use the different parts of your brain. Apparently when Alzheimer's strikes, if you only use the same parts of your brain all the time you are more apt to develop the disease quickly and easily. But, if you use different parts of your brain, the Alzheimer's will take longer to spread becuase there would be more activity in the brain...or something like that. I'm not in the medical field so I can't explain it as well as the doctor on the news did (he even had pictures of different brains to show which ones only used one or two areas all the time, and ones that showed brains using many areas).

They went on to say that if you develop new talents, things you haven't done in the past, or challenge your brain (as suggested in the above quote), then you decrease your risk of Alzheimer's. At the time, I decided to try crossword puzzles because that is something I don't do.

Now I am working my brain (I guess) as I am working on my first ever pair of socks to knit. The are coming along slowly, but I will be done the cuff part in a few more rounds. I'm so excited about that! As I grow closer and closer to the heel, I am becoming more and more afraid...but I will work my brain and my hands and get these socks done because it is something I want to learn to do!

So, I challenge you to increase your brain power/usage and decrease your chance of dementia and Alzheimer's...try new stitches or make your own designs like the article said - or learn something new (like I am doing with the socks).


Jayleigh said...

Don't be afraid!

Did you ever see the Eeyore I crocheted for my cousin's baby last February? I hadn't ever done anything before except afghans and such, so it was a wild thing for me to try something in which I needed to have the same gauge throughout.

You'll be fine, dear heart. :-)

God Bless you richly!

Shelley said...

Jayleigh: I'll post a pic of the socks when they are finished...even if they look horrible! I have mistakes so far in this first one I'm doing (and they are noticable in a couple places lol) but that doesn't matter. This one could be a 'sample' learning one...

MaY said...

Love the new blog Shelley. Now, I'm more encouraged to finish my cross-stitch (of a fairy), which I have brought from the Philippines two years ago and still haven't finished it. (that's embarrassing!) Guess back home I had more time to do this stuff than I have time here. Maybe I should finish it off. I love cross stitching. I haven't tried knitting just yet, although it amazes me how strings can turn into sweaters or scarves or socks! :-D

Shelley said...

May, I highly encourage you to try knitting! I find it relaxing and the time just seems to fly by!