Just like we all need exercise to stay strong and healthy, the same goes for our brains. Exercising your brain will help keep your memory sharp, allow for the development of new neural connections, and boost your mental well-being. Here are some ways to exercise your brain and keep your memory in great shape:
Move your body
Exercise is not just good for your physical health, it’s good for your mental health. It stimulates the brain helping to boost brain cell health and facilitating the growth of new blood vessels. Studies have shown that people who exercise have a greater volume in the parts of the brain that control thinking, and memory as compared to those who don’t. When it comes to exercise, dance is particularly beneficial to brain health! Learning certain moves increases the brain’s processing speed and memory.
Challenge Yourself with Puzzles and Games
Jigsaw puzzles are a great workout for the mind as they target the visuospatial factors of cognitive function that can decline as years go by. Additionally, they challenge the brain by giving you the opportunity to look at different pieces and figure out how they fit together, which improves memory and other aspects of cognition. In addition, you can challenge yourself to online puzzles like Wordle, brain teasers, or online quizzes. If you prefer pen and paper, you can do the NY Times Crosswords Puzzle to get your brain to think outside the box!
Listen to Music or Learn How to Play
Studies show that listening to music improves cognitive skills like memory, fluency, and recognition. Music can help you generate more out of the box solutions and promote creative thinking. If you want to take it to the next level, you may consider learning an instrument which will challenge and improve communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain leading to a boost in memory, fine motor skills and verbal and non-verbal reasoning.
Take a New Route
You may get so used to taking the same route to work or a friend’s house that it becomes second nature and you aren’t thinking much about it. But changing things up and exploring different routes will challenge your brain to focus and find new ways to get to your destination. One study showed that taxi drivers who are used to taking different routes each day developed a larger-than-average hippocampus, the part of the brain which plays an essential role in spatial learning and memory.
Mediation is known for reducing stress and anxiety. But did you know it can also assist the brain in processing information? It has been shown to enhance memory, attention, and executive function. It may also affect the brain’s structure to improve cognitive capability.
Learn a New Language
Learning a new language comes with its share of benefits. In addition to allowing you to communicate with people of different cultures, it can also improve memory, visual-spatial skills, and help you easily switch between tasks more easily by keeping the brain sharp and slowing down age-related decline.
Are you ready to boost your brain? As important as it is to maintain our physical health, make sure to prioritize your mental health as well. It’s never too early or too late to start exercising the mind, and we hope the activities in this article will help you improve memory and cognitive function over time.