Did you know that your body isn’t the only thing that needs exercise? Your brain also needs exercise in order to function properly. Brain exercises sharpen intellect and improve the cognitive abilities. Just as you exercise your body to keep your heart healthy and muscles strong, exercising your mind can sharpen your decision-making and improve your communication skills. Here are 5 exercises for the brain that you can do every day.
1. WRITE THINGS DOWN
Writing things down by hand is the easiest way to exercise your brain. Writing can actually coordinate both sides of your brain, improving your brain’s function. It can also boost your cognitive skills. Furthermore, many psychologists believe that writing something by hand has a longer-lasting effect on memory. This works for both adults and kids. Writing by hand also activates the regions of the brain linked to reading. This improves the brain function as you are using more of your brain.
2. TAKE A COOKING CLASS
Cooking uses a number of senses: smell, touch, sight, and taste, which all involve different parts of the brain. This will help sharpen your memory and awareness. Learning a number of different recipes will also help improve your memory.
3. PICK A NEW HOBBY
Learning a new skill is also a great way to give your brain a workout. Creative skills especially, like music, dance, and visual art, exercise different parts of your brain and all have incredible benefits. Learning how to play an instrument is another way to exercise your brain. Science has shown that when children learn to play music, their brains begin to hear and process sounds that they couldn’t otherwise hear. You can also take up a new hobby that involves fine-motor skills, such as knitting, drawing or painting. Scientists say stimulating activities such as sport, reading, socialising and travelling, not only keep the mind sharp but also stave off depression.
4. SOLVE PUZZLES
Games and puzzles will gradually sharpen your brain and enhance your problem-solving abilities. They can also prevent or delay the onset of dementia later in life. Start off with simple puzzles such as the crosswords in your newspaper. You can also try games such as Sudoku or Scrabble. Crosswords are a fantastic way to practice problem-solving. You can slowly move onto more complex puzzles as you get better. You can try solving the Rubik’s cube, play chess or even solve Japanese pocket puzzles during your free time. Try playing games that involve decision making and strategic thoughts. Memory games are also a good idea and you can play many of them for free online.
5. LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE
Although this can be hard to believe, learning another language stimulates the brain and opens up all sorts of pathways. This is because there is a lot of listening, hearing and focusing involved. The benefits of bilingualism range from increased creativity to the delayed onset of Alzheimer’s. Moreover, a rich and complex vocabulary has been shown to delay the onset of cognitive decline. Learning a new one puts the brain to task by recognizing a new language structure. As the brain works out the meaning and makes full use of this new arsenal to express ideas, it sharpens skills on reading, negotiating, and problem-solving.