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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Your Brain At Work, by the Dana Alliance and The Conference Board

Several months ago we came across an excellent resource for cognitive/ brain fitness aimed at helping companies offer quality brain health information to their employees.

While it is true that we often tend to believe all this “brain fitness” stuff is most relevant to our parents and/ or grandparents, trust me, if you are reading this, you need it. Everyone with a brain can benefit from learning about how his or her brain works and how to maintain it with proper care.

And, from a company’s point of view, aren’t “talent” and “human capital” really all about brain fitness and cognitive performance?

Your Brain At Work - Dana Foundation and the Conference BoardThe Conference Board and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives (descriptions below) published in 2008 a 44-page booklet to “teach simple, practical strategies for incorporating brain-friendly practices into day-to-day life”.  Your Brain at work: Making the science of cognitive fitness to work for you is the first of three planned booklets on cognitive fitness.

The Conference Board and the Dana Alliance have allowed SharpBrains to share the following Action Plan with our readers, straight from Your Brain at work brochure. At the bottom of this post we also share instructions on how individuals and companies can get their own copies of this excellent brochure.

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Your Cognitive Fitness Strategy: An Action Plan for Brain Health

Write it down.
Putting your goals in writing makes them more meaningful. Adding why you want to achieve each goal is a real motivator.

Take baby steps.
You’ll feel overwhelmed if you try to address every aspect of brain health at once. Set priorities.

Give yourself a timeframe.
And remember: That implies giving yourself enough time to work at and master your goals.

Be realistic.
People who try to do too much too soon often get discouraged and give up altogether. Don’t be a victim of your own ambition. If your goals seem impossible, revise them.

Now, determine your baseline. Think about how you measure up against the healthy brain practices below.

Social Interaction
Who did I see today, and for what purposes?
What did I do to reconnect with someone I care about today?

Physical Activity
How many minutes did I walk today, including around the office?
How did I work exercise into my day?
Did I “walk and talk” at work, rather than emailing or phoning?

Cognitive Stimulation
What did I learn today?
What routine task did I approach differently today?
Did I challenge my mind? Did I do anything just for fun?

Diet
I ate ___ servings of fruits and vegetables today.
3 brain-healthy things I ate today are: ____________________________________

Stress Management
How was my stress level today?
What caused me the greatest stress today? What triggered it?
How did I cope? How did I relax?

Sleep
How well did I sleep last night? How long? Did I awaken during the night?
If sleep was poor, do I know why?
Did I feel drowsy during the day?
Did I nap?

How you answer these questions may help you determine which areas of brain health you need to focus on as you map out your cognitive fitness plan.

Note: This content has been reprinted with permission of The Conference Board and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives; do not reproduce without permission from The Conference Board/ DABI.

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How to Request copies of Your Brain At Work

– Individuals may request free single sample printed copies from the Dana Alliance by emailing dabiinfo@dana.org

– For company sales inquiries, please contact The Conference Board’s Customer Service at at 212 339 0345. (more information at http://www.conference-board.org/Dana-Alliance/).

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Dana Alliance for Brain InitiativesThe Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives is a nonprofit organization of more than 265 leading neuroscientists, is committed to advancing public awareness about the progress and promise of brain research and to disseminating information on the brain in an understandable and accessible fashion. Recent neuroscience advances have shown the potential for conquering the devastating diseases and disorders of the brain that afflict millions of people, ranging from cocaine addiction to learning disabilities, from Alzheimer’s disease to spinal cord injuries. Supported entirely by the Dana Foundation, the Dana Alliance does not fund research or make grants.

The Conference BoardThe Conference Board is the world’s pre-eminent business membership and research organization.  The Conference Board creates and disseminates knowledge about management and the marketplace to help businesses strengthen their performance and better serve society.  Working as a global, independent, not-for-profit membership organization in the public interest, The Conference Board conducts research, convenes conferences, makes forecasts, assesses trends, publishes information and analysis, and brings executives together to learn from one another.

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3 Responses

  1. Great find Alvaro. And to add to the good news about the Dana Foundation, it supports programs and research in immunology and art education — both inter-related to developing brain health and fitness!

  2. Googling, I found a downloadable version of the booklet –

    http://tinyurl.com/6yq6mk

  3. M.A.: Yes, they support many interesting initiatives, happy to see you have come across their work before.

    Mistah: that link isn’t working now, so I suggest people interested in getting a copy follow the instructions provided above. (thank you for the creativity displayed!)

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