Staying Sharp by Henry Emmons and David Alter

Fascinating, Informative and Practical     

My rating:  5 out of 5     

A fascinating book on how the brain works, and how to keep it working to its full capacity.  Although coStaying Sharpntaining a massive amount of attention grabbing material, it is written in an easy, sometimes amusing, and always riveting style.  Each chapter is prefaced with “Key Concepts”, and broken up into small sections, all clearly labelled.    I strongly advise having page markers ready to insert, as there are many sections here that you are going to want to revisit.

Following an explanation of how the brain works , including new research and discoveries about it, the 9 key lessons of the “Youthful Brain Program” are explored.   These include sections on exercise, excellent nutrition advice (exactly what I had been looking for) and sleep, explaining why these are so important for the brain, with ideas on how to improve each. Also included are ideas for flexibility of mind, empathy, being positive plus many other sections regarding how “the brain and mind impact health and daily functioning“.  In each section there are plenty of reasons given as to why the activities suggested, including mindfulness, are good for the brain, including references to research and further resources.  What makes this book particularly special, is the number and variety of suggestions given to help the reader improve/maintain  brain function,  for example in the movement chapter a range of suggestions are given for those that like to do a lot of exercise right through to the people who just want to make one small change, like standing up more often.

This book is packed full of so much fascinating, informative, motivating and realistic ideas that it is impossible here, in a few words, to describe it with justice.  Suffice to say that I think this is a book that everyone will benefit from and enjoy.  Not just the people reaching middle life that it appears to be aimed at, but also younger people – who too can learn much from  the advice given, and who may wish to buy a second copy for their older relatives, or friends who are about to retire.

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