Interested in learning a new skill in the new year? CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta says that will also improve your brain health. "The act of experiencing something new — or even doing something that's typical for you, but in a different way — can all generate these new brain cells," says Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon and associate professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. He has a new book about the brain.
Eleven years ago, when she was 24, Katherine Standefer was working as a ski instructor and a climbing teacher in Jackson, Wyo., when she suddenly passed out in a parking lot. She later learned that she has long QT syndrome, a genetic heart condition in which the heart can suddenly quiver instead of rhythmically pumping blood. Standefer chronicles the ways her condition and the implanted defibrillator changed her life in the book Lightning Flowers. Looking back, she feels particularly grateful for her present health.