We all know that to stay fit and healthy, we have to train our bodies. What most people neglect, or don’t realize, is that our brains need exercise too. To grow older gracefully and remain sharp, there are a few things we can do daily to help our minds stay alert and functioning well.
We’ll look at a few of these mental exercises that people swear by and hear what the experts have to say. Can we train our brains?
What Is Considered To Be Brain Exercises?
It is activities that stimulate certain functions needed to remain vigilant and mentally sharp.
Break Your Routine
Have you considered how good it can be for your brain to take a different route to the shop every once? Your mind can get stuck in a rut by repetition. Change things up a bit.
If you always drive to work, why not take the bus for a change of scenery? Your brain will remain active as it takes on new surroundings and habits.
Learn A New Language
Challenge your mind. You’ll be surprised how much new information you can still take in – even if you finished college years ago. For example, there are multiple cognitive advantages of being able to speak more than one language.
Teach Other People
When you learn a new skill and have practiced it a few times, nothing sets it as firmly as when you explain it to somebody else. It helps your memory to engrain it, while the interaction with another person releases endorphins, which makes you happy – it’s a win-win situation.
Expand Your Vocabulary
Make a habit of learning a new word each day. Try to carry a notebook with you and record any unique vocabulary you hear or read. Find the proper meaning of it and use it five times the following day.
Build Jigsaw Puzzles
You don’t have to figure out a 5000 piece Picasso to benefit from building jigsaw puzzles. A 100 piece one will have the same benefits of helping your mind to focus and problem solve.
Focus And Train Your Brain To Remember Small Observations
As you go about your regular daily routine, focus on the people around you. Decide on 4 or 5 small details about them and record it mentally—the color of their hair, eyes, the shoes they were wearing, or their names.
Whatever you decide is okay, but make a habit of doing it with every person you interact with daily. Now, try to remember each detail at the end of the day. You’ll be surprised how quickly your mind trains its short-term memory to remember the small details.
Does It Work?
It’s a question that gets a wide variety of responses. Some scientists swear by it, proving the fact with various tests and results, and then you have the other side, denying any lasting benefits from brain exercises.
More than 100 research papers have been published by trusted sources such as the University of Stanford, Johns Hopkins, and the University of California. They all indicate that brain exercises do have health benefits.
According to Harvard Health, one of the best exercises you can give your brain is the physical kind. Put on a pair of running shoes and go for a jog to release endorphins needed to make you feel good and also increase your memory.
Researchers that were part of a study done at the University of BC have found that cardio training increases the size of the hippocampus. It’s connected to the human brain area that controls verbal memory and our ability to study.
Physical exercise can lower your resistance to insulin and even fight inflammation while promoting new brain cell growth. In a world where dementia is ever-increasing, these findings can help you stay one step ahead of cognitive degradation.
The Final Verdict
Whether it is an actual brain exercise you’re doing or exercising for your brain to stay healthy, the verdict is in: Exercise, be it mental or physical, is immeasurable for your memory, overall well-being, and long term sanity.
Change your routine, learn a new language, grab a jigsaw puzzle, or go for a run. In the end, it all has a proven positive effect on your brain and body.