STERLING, Il. – Many people worry about their memory as they get older. Aging does not automatically mean the brain declines or gets weaker. There are many lifestyle factors that contribute to having a strong brain throughout life.

“Many people think that with older age comes a weaker brain. And that is simply not true,” says Karla Belzer, Family Life Educator with University of Illinois Extension. “Getting good sleep, proper nutrition, and regular exercise are a few things that can keep the brain strong. But brains also benefit from challenges and puzzles.”

Wits Fitness is a free monthly brain health exercise program offered by Extension in communities throughout northwest Illinois. Each monthly class is a little over an hour long and features several challenging brain exercises.

“The goal is for participants to become comfortable with brain games and to incorporate brain challenges into their daily lives,” says Belzer, who leads the class. “Through engaging in recall, critical thinking, spatial reasoning, focus, language, and attention activities, participants actively work towards strengthening their brain connections. We also give examples of activities to do each day to keep the brain fit.”

Monthly sessions of Wits Fitness will be held at the York Township Library in Thomson on February 4, March 4, April 1, May 6, June 16, July 7, August 5, September 2, October 7, November 11, and December 2. Class starts at 10:30 a.m. Participants can join the class at any time.

Registration for Wits Fitness in Thomson is now available at go.illinois.edu/witsfitness2. Classes are also available in Sterling, Dixon, Oregon, and online. For more information on other class locations, visit University of Illinois Extension – Carroll, Lee, and Whiteside events page.

If you will need accommodation in order to participate, please email kbelzer@illinois.edu. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.

 

SOURCE: Karla Belzer, Family Life Educator, University of Illinois Extension

WRITER: Karla Belzer, Family Life Educator, University of Illinois Extension

ABOUT EXTENSION:  Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.