Mon, May 10, 21

Brain Exercises You Should Try

As you age, your brain eventually starts deteriorating. Along with that comes a host of issues, from general cognitive decline and memory loss to slowness of thought and speech. But just like how regular exercise helps you keep more of your muscles as you age, exercising your brain can help you keep your mental faculties in tip-top shape. But you shouldn’t wait until you’re getting on in years to train your brain; it’s something that everybody should try to do regularly. Here are some of the top ten brain exercises that everyone can use to help keep their brains strong.

Learn Something New

a woman drinking coffee and using a laptop

As simple as this may seem, it’s one of the best possible things you can do to help keep your brain active and strong. Whether it’s a new language, musical instrument, hobby, game, or sport, learning something new, especially over an extended period, can help to improve your memory function and strengthen the connections in your brain. And you don’t have to learn on your own, either! Consider taking a class for cooking, dancing, or anything else you think you’d enjoy with a friend.

Related: Mental Acuity: A Guide to Staying Mentally Sharp

Draw a Map From Memory

Think of your house. Now think of one of your favorite spots to visit in town. Chances are you’ve been there and back plenty of times; you may even know how to get there with your eyes closed! Put your mind to work by drawing a map from your house to your favorite place. Add in familiar buildings, lakes, parks, or anything else along the way that you can think of. And if you want to take things up a notch, consider timing yourself while you draw. 

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching 

 A couple dancing surrounded by moving boxes.

Not only is dancing good for your physical health, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), taking the time to learn some new dance moves can increase both memory and processing speed. Evidence has also found that just dancing, in general, can be highly beneficial in boosting cognitive performance while also challenging your brain. So take care of both your mind and body, put on some music, and dance the night away.

Practice Using Your Non-Dominant Hand

Research has indicated that practicing with your non-dominant hand can cause a substantial expansion in specific parts of the brain cortex that control and process tactile information. Try using your non-dominant hand to brush your teeth, eatwrite, open doors, and more as you go about your daily schedule. Neurobiologists have stated that this challenge can be a great way to increase your overall brain activity.

Related: How to Get Rid of Brain Fog: Tips and Tricks

Try New Ways of Reading

Did you know that you’re using very different circuits within your brain when you listen to stories or read aloud than when you are reading silently by yourself? Consider getting together with a friend or partner and take turns reading aloud to one another so that both of you have the chance to be a reader and listener. It will likely take you a long time to get through the book, but it’s an excellent brain strengthening activity that also allows you to spend quality time with someone.

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Strengthen Your Hand-Eye Coordination 

Consider taking up some hobbies that require the use of your hand-eye motor functions, like knitting, painting, drawing, and even putting together jigsaw puzzles. You can also try using chopsticks to eat instead of a fork, which will help you be more actively aware of what you’re eating while also making you concentrate more on what you’re doing with your hands. For an extra boost of difficulty, try to rely on your non-dominant hand during these activities as well.

Test Your Recall Often

This is an easy exercise that can be done throughout the day with little effort. Make lists of items you need from the store, tasks you need to accomplish, or anything else you can think of, and work on memorizing them. Take a break for an hour or so, and then see how many items you can recall and in what order. You can achieve the most significant mental stimulation through this activity by making a list as challenging to remember as possible to flex your brainpower.

Take a Shower With Your Eyes Closed

A woman with her eyes closed in an outdoor shower.

This task is simple; take a shower with your eyes closed and rely only on your memory and touch to wash your body, hair, shave, or do whatever else you need to do. Just please be sure to use common sense to avoid hurting yourself.

Related: Music, The Brain, And Why You Should Listen To Music

Do Math in Your Head

This is another easy task that you can do daily. Come up with fundamental math problems and try to solve them in your head, without the assistance of a pen, paper, or technology. These problems can be as simple as working through the times’ tables or counting backward from 200 at different intervals. Those who are looking for an extra tough challenge can also try to solve problems while walking or engaging in physical exercise. 

Expand Your Vocab Every Day

Working to expand your vocabulary every day is an excellent way to stimulate your brain, especially in the areas dedicated to processing auditory and visual information. There are many different ways you can do this, like downloading a word of the day app or keeping a notebook with you while you read to record and look up unfamiliar words. Each time you learn a new word and its definition, do your best to use it at least five times throughout the day during conversation to ensure it sticks with you.

Final Thoughts

It’s essential to exercise your brain as well as your body to keep your mind sharp, especially as you get older. Give each of these top-ten brain exercises a try throughout your day to see what kind of benefits that can produce in your life. And if you’re looking for some additional ways to help keep your brain healthy and strong, consider checking out Magic Mind, the world’s first productivity drink.

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