Help for people getting dumberer

If there are an increasing number of days in which you feel as if you’ve just eaten a big bowl of stupid for breakfast, there may be good reasons. Five of them, in fact.

A recent article in Men’s Health magazine listed “5 daily routines that dull your brain,” along with helpful tips to make yourself smarter.

Being overweight.

According to Carnegie Mellon researchers, the brains of obese people work harder than those of normal weight people to achieve the same results.

I would never argue with a Carnegie Mellon researcher, even if I knew where to find one. But if weight is a major factor, wouldn’t the smartest people in the country be high fashion models?

Helpful tip: Don’t eat french fries.

Driving everywhere.

A study found that the brain’s striatum, an area associated with executive function and working memory, was smaller in non-athletes than in basketball players.

Leaving aside the fact that there are a lot of players in the NBA who probably couldn’t pronounce “striatum,” this means that Dennis Rodman should be smarter than Warren Buffett. Although maybe that depends upon how often Warren Buffett drives to Burger Doodle.

Helpful tip: Work on your three-point shot.

Relying too much on your gadgets.

According to a Columbia University study, using your electronic devices to access information instead of committing the information to memory makes you forgetful.

Helpful tip: Instead of storing important information on your smartphone, start every day by repeating aloud a few times the information you need to remember. Such as the 284 email addresses on your contact list.

Traveling for business.

In a study conducted on hamsters, researchers at Cal Berkeley found that flying from New York to Paris three days a month caused jet leg that resulted in 50 percent fewer neurons.

I’ll have to take their word for that one, because I’ve flown to Paris several times and don’t recall ever sitting next to a hamster. But maybe they were in Business Class.

Helpful tip: Don’t go to Paris.

Being cooped up in your office.

In another study, researchers put 22 people into an office and pumped the room full of carbon dioxide. As the level of carbon dioxide increased, they found, the ability of the subjects to focus and strategize decreased.

Helpful tip: Get at least 15 minutes of fresh air a day. Or, just get a job where they don’t pump carbon dioxide into the room.

I hope all these helpful tips have made you smarter.

Although, if you’ve just driven to work and are sitting in an office full of carbon dioxide while searching the Internet for the best french fries in Paris, there’s probably no hope for you.

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