Our brain needs proper exercise just as our body does. There are many exercises that can be done to improve memory and focus. These brain exercises are also beneficial in preventing memory lapses as we age.
We have compiled eleven brain exercises that can be easily done to improve our cognitive skills as well as keeping your mind sharp at any age. Read on:
1. Activate your brain cells
Try performing certain activities without using one of your senses that you normally would. You can try filling a jar with coins of different denominations. When you are free, take out some coins without looking at them. Feel the carving on them to identify their denominations. This way you are using your sense of touch, rather than sight to identify the coins.
These brain exercises help in sharpening your mind. The idea behind these brain exercises is how blind people read braille using their hands rather than eyes. As they are deprived of one sense, they use another to read. Note that it is just one brain exercise, there are plenty of others which could be really helpful for your mind.
2. Try looking at objects from different perspectives
A clock is always hung on the wall the right way up and the same with a calendar. This way, your brains have become accustomed to seeing things in a particular way. You can test your brain’s interpreting ability by challenging it.
Try a holding a TV remote upside down and then switching channels. Alternatively, view a photo frame or calendar the other way around. You could even try wearing your watch upside down. If you continue these brain exercises, your brain will become more alert when it has to interpret new situations. Moreover, it will get accustomed to new situations and circumstances which is obviously good for the brain.
3. Do not stick to one schedule
We all have a routine which we follow each day, that is, we keep performing a set of tasks in the same order. However, this habit can make our brains sluggish. So, try to make changes to your daily routine and maintain these brain exercises.
Try out new exercises in the morning or do something else instead of reading your morning newspaper. You can also try taking a different route to work. This way you will also get a break from your monotonous routine, and you will feel more positivity around you. The novelty will stimulate and sharpen your mind.
4. Switch hands as brain exercise
If you are right-handed, try using your left hand to perform tasks such as brushing, writing, and eating. This is because your brain gets used to doing things a certain way and it needs some jolting. Using your non–dominant hand stimulates activity in the non-active side of your brain. This can be difficult at first, but it will give your mind some good exercise.
5. Perform some tasks with your eyes closed
We do many of our daily tasks without even thinking about them. So, to introduce the challenge to your brain, try performing these brain exercises with your eyes closed. This includes taking a shower, sorting out laundry and navigating from one room to another. This forces our brain to use new neural pathways and hence makes it more alert and sharper.
6. Order different dishes when eating out
Many of us will skim through a menu at a restaurant despite knowing that we will order the same dish as always. But try ordering different dishes or cuisines. Doing this brain exercises will ask your brains to interpret the new smells and tastes. It will also activate the respective receptor cells. The different tastes and smells will also provide new sensations to your minds.
You can also try experimenting with your food at home. Try to cook a new recipe or simply add a different ingredient or spice to your usual meals. It is interesting to note that this particular exercise can be very difficult for some people who like their food a certain way or who are not comfortable with changing their taste pallets.
7. Learn how to use chopsticks
Eating with a spoon or fork does not pose a challenge at all but eating with chopsticks does. This is why we should learn how to use them. It will also force your brain to send you signals to eat mindfully. For those who already know how to eat with chopsticks, can try doing so using their non-dominant hand.
8. For the brain exercise, read aloud
Try reading aloud whenever you get the chance or take turns doing so with a family member. This stimulates the imagination in new ways and forces our brains to use multiple circuits at the same time. In a demonstration of brain imaging, it was shown that three distinct regions of the brain lit up when words were spoken aloud from a book. You can also use audiobooks to gain the same benefit.
9. Socializing helps your brain
Do not isolate yourself from the world. Spend time and converse with other people. Socializing is great brain exercises which joggle our brain to become ready to receive information and ideas. You can even incorporate socializing in your daily lives by dealing with a salesperson rather than using a vending machine. Human interaction has a lot of importance, and we often undermine it. Nothing is better than people interacting with each other and benefitting from it in numerous ways.
10. Try to use all of your senses simultaneously
Engage yourself in activities that use all your senses. These include camping, traveling, gardening, and even grocery shopping. Also, try learning new skills such as playing chess or a musical instrument.
11. Remember to intake proper nutrients
Include foods in your diet that will help yours with mood and brain health. Such foods include coconut oil, walnuts, eggs, avocado, and turmeric. They contain essential vitamins and fats which are important for the proper functioning of your brains.
It is recommended that people of all ages try out these brain exercises to stay mentally fit and healthy. These exercises do benefit not only the brain but also develops one’s personality. So, it is a win-win situation outright!
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