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Keep the brain ticking

At the age of 55, I am already beginning to find life difficult. I leave my keys here and there and misplace my spectacles often.

Forgetfulness was considered a normal part of ageing. Now, scientists have discovered that, contrary to earlier opinion, the brain does regenerate. It is a question of "use it or lose it". As we age, we use less of our brain. Gradually, we lose the function of portions of it. If you want to keep the mind active and functional, try 40 minutes of aerobic activity and 10 minutes of yoga and meditation everyday. To keep your brain working, also commit to memory two lines of a poem or from a religious book daily.

Time it right

We have been married for three years; and I am trying unsuccessfully to become pregnant. We have both been tested and found to be normal. My husband lives in another town and comes over during weekends.

Your egg (ovum) is released 14 days before your next period (not 14 days after). Your most fertile period is the two days before and after this. Since your husband comes home only during weekends, you may be consistently missing these days. Try staying together for three to six months. You may become pregnant naturally.

Pain in the back

I keep getting a niggling pain in my lower back. The orthopaedic said that nothing is wrong and prescribed rest and painkillers. Is there any other solution?

As animals, we were meant to walk on all fours. The upright walking position - and sitting at work all day - is likely to cause backache as we get older. The way to prevent it is to sit straight at work with feet resting on the floor. Remember to stand up and stretch every hour. Do stretches and back exercises (planks, sit-ups and crunches) every day and sleep on the floor or on a firm mattress.

The writer is a paediatrician with a family practice at Vellore and author of Staying Healthy in Modern India. 
If you have any questions on health issues please write to yourhealthgm@yahoo.co.in

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