Exercise Your Brain!

Man thinking with cogs and scribbled notes surrounding head

About the Safety Net Guest Contributor:

Dr. Larry Catlett is the founder of Occupational Medical Consulting, LLC, a Maine business that for over 20 years, partners with companies nationwide to create a sustainable healthy workforce culture and reduce employee health risks.

Is it really true that you can prevent memory loss? 

Dr. Catlett’s Answer: In most cases, absolutely! And guess what? The same healthy lifestyle you are working toward–plus a little brain exercise–is just what the doctor ordered! Read on for some tips to help you prevent memory loss.

Stop smoking. I know, here we go again with the stop smoking stuff, but it’s important to understand that smokers have twice the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Get a handle on stress. Don’t tell me your stress doesn’t affect you. It does and sometimes for the worse regarding your brain. Learn appropriate stress management techniques (consider a health coach) and begin the process of turning down the heat!

Exercise 30 minutes a day, most days each week. Not only does it keep your brain healthy, but it is the best stress reducer you can try.

Eat right. A healthy diet full of fruits and veggies contains antioxidants that not only protect your brain from injury but help prevent many cancers as well.  It is better to get your antioxidant supply from healthy foods rather than supplements.

Work your mind. Learn a new language. Do crossword puzzles. Learn to play something like the guitar. Volunteer. Read. Garden. Get up off the couch and start a new hobby.

We lose brain cells, or at least they shrink, as we age but that does not necessarily have to result in inevitable dulling of our wits as we age. Just like muscles and lung function, you must “use it or lose it.” So what’s the hold up? Take control! Think how rewarding it might be to actually read the menu at a real Italian restaurant! And think about this: just as so many other health problems we have discussed in this blog can influence your ability to work safely, memory loss and impaired cognitive function can set the stage for your own or a coworker’s preventable injury.


Posted by Larry Catlett, MD, OMC WellnessWorks