The human brain is a marvel. From our involuntary functions, such as breathing and blinking, to our voluntary functions, such as speech and emotion, the brain is involved in everything we do. Like every other muscle in the body, the brain needs exercise.
Regardless of your age, there are several methods you can use to enhance your mental sharpness to help your brain stay healthy. Exercising your brain doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, brain exercises are usually fun. Here are a few of our top evidence-based exercises designed to provide the best brain-boosting benefits.
Start with the Basics
Brain exercises do not have to be overly complicated. Both basic and complex activities are great for cognitive health. Benefits to challenging your brain include improved focus, mood, memory and much more.
- Switch hands – using your non-dominant hand increases brain activity. If you are left handed, use your non-dominant right hand for your daily activities. Switch hands when you brush your teeth, eat your food, use a computer mouse, or even when you write.
- Upside down or backwards – Viewing things backwards or upside down stimulates the brain. Consider flipping your watch or clock upside down. This simple action challenges your brain every time you check your watch. Try working on a word puzzle upside down. Completing tasks upside down or backwards is an effective and fun way to challenge your brain.
- Read aloud – according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), one of the earliest demonstrations of brain imaging clearly showed three distinct regions of the brain light up when the same word was heard, read, and spoken. Great for both children and adults, when we read aloud it stimulates the imagination differently than when we read silently.
- Skip the navigation – when we use our navigation system during a routine commute, it places our brain on autopilot. Rather than taking the same route to work, take a new route and navigate by landmarks or your memory. This simple change in daily routine will stimulate the brain and work to enhance brain health.
Have Fun with a Puzzle
Whether you’re putting together a 100 piece puzzle of your favorite cartoon character or a 1,000 piece image of the Burj Khalifa, working on a jigsaw puzzle is an excellent way to strengthen your brain. Research conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information has shown that doing jigsaw puzzles strengthens multiple cognitive abilities. When putting together a jigsaw puzzle, you have to look at different pieces and figure out where they fit within the larger picture. This can be a great way to challenge and exercise your brain.
Use All Five Senses
On any given day, we experience a continuous stream of information. We perceive and understand this information through touch, sound, sight, smell, and taste. While daily experiences are multisensory, i.e. we receive information from multiple senses simultaneously, psychological research has primarily focused on studying our senses in isolation.
A 2015 research report suggests that using all five of your senses helps to strengthen cognitive ability. Consider doing activities that simultaneously engage all of your senses. Multisensory activities can range from visiting a farmer’s market or baking a batch of cookies to trying a new restaurant, the key is to experience things that allow you to focus on smelling, touching, tasting, seeing, and hearing all at the same time.
Regardless of your age, physical exercise improves neurological function and development. Research shows regular exercise improves reasoning ability and memory recall in aging adults experiencing mild cognitive impairment. At any age, aerobic exercise helps to increase brain volume in gray matter regions, including the areas of the brain that improve short-term memory and cognitive function.
The best part? Exercise doesn’t have to be over the top or intense. Even small amounts of physical activity can create a positive impact on brain health. From an energetic walk in the park to high-intensity training, daily exercise works help to promote neuroplasticity.
The Brain Workshop Brain Training Exercises
Brain training is a simple and proven way to improve core learning abilities to achieve faster, easier, and more efficient learning. Brain training exercises work to improve memory, focus, academic performance, and daily functionality. In a nutshell, brain training is a workout for your brain.
Regardless of your age or industry, a stronger and faster brain can help further your career or improve academic performance. Stronger cognitive skills translate to real-life improvements in clarity, memory, logic, attention, and processing speed. At the Brain Workshop, our customised one-on-one brain training exercises are designed to strengthen specific cognitive skills.
Contact a member of our team to schedule your assessment today.