We all know about the importance and benefits of exercise, but it’s just as important to exercise your mind, too.
To help you out, we’ve come up with a list of seven exercises you can do to improve the fitness of your brain. Let’s call it Brain Aerobics.
The function of memory is a complex thing. And of course, there are differences between short and long term memory. There are a million things you can do to improve your memory but here’s a simple one: test your memory. Make a list—grocery, to do, bucket list—whatever you want. Then memorize it. An hour later, see how many things you can remember. The harder your list, the more you’ll stimulate your memory.
2. Surf’s Up…Online
Don’t tell your kids, but researchers at UCLA have found that spending time surfing the internet stimulates your brain activity as much as reading. So feel free to catch up on the news, browse the latest pop culture news, etc.
3. Get Moving
Exercise is not just important for a healthy body, its also critical for your brain. Even moderate exercise requires a lot from your brain. It’s required to generate, interpret and receive rapid-fire messages from your nervous system over-and-over again. Your brain is the traffic cop that coordinates all of that information and instructs your muscles to contract, keeps your vision sharp and keeps you balanced, just to name a few things that happen.
4. Change Things Up
Have you ever tried writing with the opposite hand? Or eating with the opposite hand? Aside from feeling like you're in a food fight with yourself, you are actually stimulating new neural connections in your brain. So every once in a while, trying brushing your teeth with the “wrong” hand. Just stay away from trying anything with sharp objects!
5. Learn A New Skill
Learning shouldn’t end with high school or college. Teaching yourself a new skill or hobby is an extremely effective way to keep your brain working. You don’t have to rush out and take a math class (unless you like that sort of thing), just try something new.
6. Crossword, puzzles and word games
Go old school and sit down with the New York Times crossword. If that’s not your thing, download and app or go get an old fashioned puzzle. Turns out, game night isn’t just good for socializing, its also great for challenging your mind.
7. Listen to Music
If you read our post Music and your mind, you already know the positive impact music has on the brain. But in case you missed it, there is a ton of research that shows how music stimulates nearly every area of your brain, not just those associated with listening. It also helps boost your mood, lowers anxiety and stimulates memory.