Do you spend time at the gym giving your muscles and heart a workout? Well, what about your brain? It needs exercise too. Recent studies are showing the benefits of using mental puzzles and challenges to exercise and strengthen brain power.
The unfortunate reality is that brain function declines with age and the process starts as early as age thirty. The good news is the old adage “use or lose it” also applies to brain function. You really can slow down the aging process with exercises designed to strengthen brain power.
What are the most effective ways to exercise your brain?
Learn a new language
Learning a new language is a powerful way to exercise your brain. Why? It requires you to use multiple brain functions including memorisation, interpretation, and speaking. It also requires focus. Once you’ve mastered a new language, challenge yourself by visiting a country where the language is spoken and exercise your new skills.
Play board games
Don’t choose mindless games based on chance, but games that require skill and mental focus. The classic example is chess where you have to think several steps ahead. There are even online sites where you can play chess with people from around the world to further challenge your brain. If chess doesn’t appeal to you, try checkers, Chinese checkers, bridge, memory games, or Trivial Pursuit. These also require considerable brain power.
Learn to play an instrument
Learning the complexities of playing an instrument is a stimulating and challenging way to strengthen your brain. If you’re up for a challenge, consider starting piano lessons. Studies have shown that children who take piano lessons score higher on cognitive tests, particularly maths. Learning to play any new instrument creates new pathways to be formed which are beneficial for brain health.
Drive a different way to work each day
This is a simple way to strengthen your brain. Exposing your brain to new sights and sounds can help to offset the aging process. Choose a different route every morning and immerse yourself in the visual and auditory stimuli you see. Stop living on auto-pilot!
Carry a crossword puzzle book with you
Keep a book of crossword puzzles with you at all times. When you’re waiting in line, use it to challenge your mind. You can also buy books of brain games that test mental abilities. Do them often.
Explore the world of online games
The internet is full of games that will test and challenge your brain. Do a search for “online brain games” and discover the wealth of options available to you.
As you can see, there are a multitude of ways to exercise your brain. Why not choose one and watch your brain power grow?