Q: Why am I so much worse at navigating than my husband? If I turn three corners, I have no idea which direction Im heading! What can I do to get better at it?
KATIE J., BURLINGTON, VT.
A: The map-reading, direction-asking, car-driving tug-of-war between men and women seems almost universal even though there are plenty of guys who cant find their way back home and women who can trek around the world without a map. BUT (yes, theres always a but) some parts of a mans brain are larger than a womans and contribute to male skills such as spatial coordination, math ability, interpretation of 3-D objects and here it is a sense of direction. (Women have big advantages in other brain areas that influence verbal and emotional skills.)
Fortunately, you can teach yourself to have a better sense of direction. Whether youre male or female, if you get lost on your way to Grandmas house, theres hope.
The key: Make yourself super-aware of your surroundings.
Headed on a road trip? Sit quietly with a detailed road map. Draw your route on the map with a magic marker, then write it down.
As a passenger or driver, note details along the way: storefronts, colors on buildings, the shape of the landscape. Say OUT LOUD: From the hotel, we started heading east on Route 26 and passed a red house after three blocks. Now were turning left at Pine Street and going north.
Whenever possible, dont use the GPS. You want to wake up your observational skills, not dull them. Then, use the GPS when you get lost.
The You Docs Mehmet Oz, host of The Dr. Oz Show and Mike Roizen of Cleveland Clinic are authors of YOU: Losing Weight. To submit questions, go to www.RealAge.com. A King Features syndicate.