Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Monday, July 17, 2017

BRAIN WORK 7-17-17

CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from the Heart of Winter for the Years of Winter… ©

Research indicates that old people think best in the morning. That is the optimal time of day for us to do brain work. By eleven o’clock, our brains are pretty well used up.

Frankly, I think that is rather optimistic. It’s ten-thirty as I write this and even two cups of coffee are not preventing my brain cells from wanting their pre-nap nap. Besides, it was in an afternoon session at a conference when someone cited the research, and I remembered it. Remembering something I have heard is pretty good brain work for me at any time.

There is plenty of other research, well-known to all by now, that says old people can put off losing brain power simply by exercising the old noggin. That is especially true if we use our brain cells in new and different ways, like learning a foreign language. Anything, though, that makes the brain work, such as doing crossword or Sudoku puzzles, is good for us.

The brain is part of the body. Any part of the body works better if we keep exercising and stretching it.

We need to adjust our schedules in the bloom years to meet the needs of our body and brain.

I used to be a long-distance runner, and I still walk about 50 minutes each day. When I was working, I ran first thing in the morning. It was the only way I could be sure I got my run in. My work days had ways of getting filled up with unplanned necessities that would knock out possibilities of running later. I continued that pattern when I retired, just because it was what I always did. Besides, it’s a good pattern; it’s fun to walk early and see the day come alive.

I began to find, though, in old age, that when I finished running or walking, I was tired. I wanted to sit down and do nothing. By the time I had recovered, errands and house chores were clutching at me. By the time nap time came, I had done no reading or writing, no brain work, and you know how useless a brain is after nap time!

So now I cook my oatmeal and start the coffee maker and start brain work even while I’m eating breakfast. I keep it up until eleven, or even later if I’ve got my slowmentum working. Walking and stretching and errands and chores are quite doable without much brain power.

I’m not saying this is the day plan you should use. Make your own schedule. Don’t just hang onto the same rhythms that worked for you in the past, though. We are different people now, with different needs. Regardless, it is important to include time for brain work when your brain can actually work.


I tweet as yooper1721.

For several years I kept a careful index of stories and subjects I had used in these posts so that I would not repeat. That has become cumbersome, and I trust that most of my readers are old enough to forget as much as I, so now I just rely on memory to avoid repeats. If your memory is better than mine, and something sounds too familiar to bother reading again, I apologize.

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