Just like your biceps and hamstrings, your brain is a muscle. And just as you would exercise your biceps and hamstrings to keep your body in shape, exercising your brain is just as important.
When muscles aren’t used they freeze up and lose muscle tone. This is also true of your brain.
BRAIN EXERCISES TO KEEP YOUR COGNITIVE ABILITIES IN SHAPE
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It is SO important to retain your cognitive nimbleness and keep your mind alert so that you can continue to perform mental tasks with ease.
Here are some strength training exercises designed to keep your brain active and in shape as you age.
LEARN NEW THINGS
Experts believe that when the brain is passive and unengaged, it will degenerate.
The brain wants to learn new things and the best way to keep your brain healthy – just like with your other muscles – is to make it work.
Choose something new to learn that is enjoyable to you and attack it with gusto. Check out your local arts council to find classes for foreign languages, cooking, art, business, or fitness.
SOLVE MATH PROBLEMS IN YOUR HEAD
Remember when your math teacher said you wouldn’t have a calculator everywhere you went?
Now, with the smart phone, we have proved them wrong!
Forgo the use of pencil, paper, or calculator and use your brain to solve simple math problems.
Increase the difficulty as needed or try walking while solving those math problems.
Don’t fret if you make mistakes or it seems to take a while before reaching the answer. The key is to not give up.
ENGAGE YOUR SENSES
All five of our senses utilize different parts of the brain, so choose activities that depend upon using your senses.
Cooking classes are excellent choices because they use sight, smell, and taste.
PRACTICE HAND-EYE COORDINATION
Even the simple act of handwriting a letter can assist in strengthening your coordination and your brain function.
It’s a simple concept we learned back in elementary school yet as life gets in the way, taking the time to read a novel or a magazine goes by the wayside.
Reading engages your sense of sight but it also engages your imagination as you picture what’s happening in the story.
Reading also increases your focus and attention as well as your knowledge and vocabulary.
Not a fan of novels?
One quick note: Memory game software is not found to have quite the same effects as these suggestions above.
Real-world activities, such as finishing a Sudoku puzzle or driving home on a different route, are more effective at maintaining cognitive function, and won’t cost much money to complete.
No matter what your current age, now is the time to care for your brain and maintain your cognitive function.
Enjoy learning and integrating these fun activities into your life.
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