'Brain tricks' to help your mind stay active at any age - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

'Brain tricks' to help your mind stay active at any age

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While there is no quick fix to prevent memory loss, at least not yet, we found one man who believes you have to speed things up to slow the process down.

FOX 5’s Allison Seymour joined our partners at AARP to unlock a few "brain tricks" to help your mind stay active at any age.

Reading material is everywhere we go. But what if you had to read the “Attorney-Client Privilege Practitioner's Guide?” Could you do it? How about in an hour?

Well, this guy can.

"Hi, everyone. I'm Howard Berg, the world's fastest speed reader.”

Could reading hold the key to improving mental alertness as we age? Howard seems to think so.

"And when you have a purpose, your brain does amazing, amazing things," Berg says.

He is also a scientist, and feels by improving memory and increasing learning through reading, our brains can combat the ails of aging.

While there have been some studies that suggest reading, puzzles and brain games may help lessen the effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia, medically, there is no cure for either.

But Linda Griffin says that does not mean you can't work at improving your brain's capacity right now.

"Because I'm in that baby boomer age bracket, and I'm very concerned about keeping my faculties -- being able to function for as long as I possibly can," she says.

Berg grew up in the Brooklyn projects. He says he hid out in the local library to escape violent gang members. That is when his love of learning and reading began.

"This could help change the world," Berg says.

Now, nearly 50 years later, his love has turned into a passion for helping others stay on top of their game at any age.

So, what does the world's fastest reader think will help?

Sharpening your memory. He shares his secret to enhancing your memory.

"One of the secrets to memory is associating something you know already -- that's in your memory, that's familiar to you with something you're trying to learn,” he says. “We gave you a list of 10 things. So, one of the objects was a pole, and one looks like a pole, so when you think of one which is familiar -- and you think of pole at the same time, the brain combines them."

And if you are looking for a trick to help you read faster and understand more of what you read, Berg says the answer is right at your fingertips.

"You want to use your hands,” says Berg. “Your hands should go from the left to the right margins. If you do that one thing, have your eye follow your hand as quickly as you can comprehend and keep your eyes continuously moving, that one thing will increase you 10 to 15 percent. That's how simple it is.”

Session participant Linda says, "This will definitely help me increase and help me read more and better and comprehend."

It is a skill that may not increase your willingness to tackle an arduous law book, but a great skill to have in anyone's book.

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