Stephen Jepson fresh off the playground:

Stephen Jepson

Cognitive reserve – a fun, fast, and easy way.

Daniel Wolpert, a neuroscientist and engineer studies how the brain controls the body. He says: “I believe that to understand movement is to understand the whole brain. And therefore it is important to remember when you are studying memory, cognition, sensory processing, they are there for a reason and the reason is action.”

He asks the question what is the brain for? Why did we evolve a brain? He says “we have a brain for one reason and one reason only and that is to control our movement”. If we were sessile we would not need a brain.

This is something I have understood for the last several years because of my reading , and then reflecting on my life and how physically active I have been since childhood – and how physically active I remain to this day. Knowing that one has to remain active I continue to train my motor skills. On a regular basis I teach my right and left feet and right and left hands to do novel unique movements. Last year I spent months learning to juggle three clubs. I know how to learn to do difficult physical things; I have been doing it all my life. Learned to unicycle at 30, juggle three balls about 48, tight rope walk early 50s, walk on a loose rope late 50s, snowboard at 60, and three clubs at 72. This year (I will be 73) I am learning to juggle four balls, hit a speed bag, and balance on a Slack Bow. These are the kind of things that cause the biggest, fastest change in the brain. It is the easiest way for anyone to create cognitive reserve. Train your body to move in novel ways; it is a fun, fast, and easy way to achieve quite wonderful results.

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