18 Ways to Exercise Your Brain

18 Ways to Exercise Your Brain

 

Keeping your mind in shape is just as important as keeping your physical muscles toned. Here is a list of 18 interesting ways you can boost brainpower, increase memory, and keep your brain working like a well-oiled machine.

Keeping your mind in shape is just as important as keeping your physical muscles toned. Here is a list of 18 interesting ways you can boost brainpower, increase memory, and keep your brain working like a well-oiled machine.

1. Just Stop

Take a few moments out of your day to just relax. Turn off all distracting noises and devices, and concentrate on something peaceful. Close your eyes. Feel your breathing. Studies show that 20 minutes of meditating in the afternoon has a better effect of brain function than a 20-minute snooze.

2. Get Some Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise has been shown to increase brain volume and white matter, which is responsible for the connections between neurons. If you’re short on time, find a hill and walk up and down it a few times. Or do 100 jumping jacks a few times a day.

3. Mix Up Your Workout

When you change up your normal workouts, your brain is confused by the muscle activity. Bonus: Your muscles react the same way! Avoiding repetition of pathways prompts both brain and muscle stimulation.

4. Read

Grabbing a good book or magazine can help you escape and relax. It also increases cognitive skills and vocabulary, which can lead to becoming a more interesting conversationalist.

5. Grab a Cup of Joe

Caffeine has been tied to short-term boosts in memory and improved concentration. Have a cup of coffee right before an important meeting or before watching Jeopardy.

6. Engage in Friendly Debate (*friendly!)

Back and forth debating of pro’s and con’s stimulates blood flow and strengthens the synapse between nerve cells. Just try to keep your cool and remind yourself not to get upset.

7. Plug into the PlayStation

Surprisingly, video games can actually improve visual skills. A few studies have also shown that gamers make decisions up to 85% faster than non-gamers. If typical shoot and drive video games aren’t your style, try Wii “Big Brain Academy” brain teaser game.

8. Dine on Curry

Curry often contains the spice turmeric. Science has shown that curcumin, found in turmeric, slows the onset of memory loss and may protect against Alzheimer’s.

9. Shoot Some Pool

Strategic planning increases metal clarity and concentrating on the immediate keeps your mind sharp, so rack em up!

10. Get Plenty of Rest

Everyone knows how crucial sleep is. Lack of sleep is tied to an inability to assimilate new information. Kind defeats the all-nighter study sessions from your college days, doesn’t it?

11. Think Positive Thoughts

Ever heard the term “garbage in, garbage out”? This applies to your brain as well as your body. If you’re constantly putting yourself down, your brain will be down. If you’re always talking yourself up, surrounding yourself with positive people, and maintaining a joyful attitude, your brain will thank you for it.

12. Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant. It is well documented that it slows motor function and can deplete your body of water, leaving you with a killer headache (brains don’t like to ache, either). Did you know that alcohol also decreases restful sleep? You may think that glass of wine is putting you to bed, but you’ll be more likely to wake up throughout the night, leaving you groggy and tired in the morning.

13. Break Your Routine

Have you ever accidentally driven home, when you had planned on going to the store? You’re your brain is on autopilot, and isn’t being challenged. Changing up your daily routines requires your brain to work harder to adapt. Try driving a new route to work or brushing your teeth with your other hand.

14. Stop Relying on GPS

Reading and using a traditional map increases the brains ability to comprehend spatial relationships. Extra points for doing this in unfamiliar territory.

15. Access Your Brain Memory Bank

Reach for your old picture album or scroll through pictures from your college days on your computer. This stimulates your memory and allows you to tap into areas of your brain that are on stand-by most of the time.

16. Memorize a Song

Memorizing things like songs expands your memory area, and creates more space for future memories to stay.

17. Walk Around Your House Blindfolded

This sounds crazy and adventurous, but unless you just moved to a new house, your brain can handle this blindfolded test. Completing this exercise uses memory, motor skills, and reasoning.

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