office, computer, booksIn case you're in a holiday haze like I am, here are some tips from SharpBrains.com to keep that brilliant head of yours bright and healthy. They recently ran an inspiring and well-researched article about 5 Ways to Sharpen Your Brain.

Here's the low down on how to stay smart.

Learn something new. Our memory starts to decline between ages 25 to 30, or to phrase it a bit more positively, one researcher says our memory peaks around age 30. The type of learning that keeps us smarter is doing something new, novel and challenging. The more we stimulate our brains, the stronger our thinking and remembering muscle becomes.

Generate new brain cells. Our brains do generate new brain cells even as adults. Keep reading, studying or taking classes in fields that interest you. 

Make sure you didn't learn wrong. Try to change false beliefs. Check and recheck things you believe often. (I think this means: Don't get too set in your old ways.)

Learn from pictures. Our brains process 40 to 60 percent of our information visually. As students progress through school, teaching tends to incorporate more text and more notes, fewer picture books, less drawing and fewer visuals. Draw your own conclusions from that!

Exercise! Want to stave off childhood obesity? Want to keep an aging body fit? Want to nourish a brain of any age? Want to fend off a variety of diseases? Get up and move! Exercise can lift a mood, stimulate thinking, refresh the body and the mind, promote sound sleep, enhance memory, and help moderate weight, to name a few of its benefits. Exercise promotes brain plasticity and can help lessen the risk of developing dementia.

And just for fun, Mamakirs recently asked Would you rather be rich, smart, beautiful or happy? I'm with Maureen55: I'd love to be smarter, but I'd choose to be happy. What about you?