Your Brain Exercises to Boost Memory and Cognitive Function Keeping You Sharp and Healthy
Health experts recommend sticking to brain training that involves real-world activities instead. Here, exercises to strengthen brain function should offer novelty and challenge. “Almost any silly suggestion can work,” says David Eagleman, PhD. A neuroscientist and adjunct professor of psychology and public mental health and population sciences. At the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute at Stanford University in California. So then, “Drive home via a different route. Also, brush your teeth with your opposite hand. In addition, the brain works through associations, [which is why it’s easier to memorize lyrics than it is to try to remember the same words without music]. So the more senses you involve, the better.”
Your morning newspaper is a great place to start. “Simple games like Sudoku and word games are good. As well as comic strips where you find things that are different from one picture to the next.” Says John E. Morley, MD, a professor of medicine in the division of geriatric medicine at St. Louis University in Missouri. In addition to word games, Dr Morley recommends the following exercises to sharpen your mental skills. (Keep in mind that there’s a lack of high-quality research in this area; these recommendations are based on Morley’s clinical experience.)
1. Test your recall.
Keep Your Brain Sharp and Healthy 2. Make a list — grocery items, things to do, or anything else that comes to mind — and memorize it. An hour or so later, see how many items you can recall. Also, make the list as challenging as possible for the greatest mental stimulation. Hence, one small past study suggested that writing and organizing lists helped older adults recall word lists more effectively.
2. Let the music play.
Keep Your Brain Sharp and Healthy 2. Learn to play a musical instrument or join a choir. Learning new and complex skills is good for the ageing brain, and a past review published in The Gerontologist. It suggested that musical activities (like playing a musical instrument, singing in a choir, or taking piano lessons) showed particular promise for healthy brain ageing, though research is limited.
3. Do math in your head.
Keep Your Brain Sharp and Healthy 2. Figure out problems without the aid of a pencil, paper, or computer. One small study, published in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology in 2021. Suggested that solving math problems had a positive effect on participants’ cognition. But you can make this exercise more difficult — and athletic — by walking at the same time.
4. Take a cooking class.
Keep Your Brain Sharp and Healthy 2. Learn how to cook a new cuisine. Thus, cooking uses a number of senses — smell, touch, sight, and taste — that involve different parts of the brain. Plus, you’ll use cognitive skills like planning the meal, problem-solving, crafting a grocery list, multi-tasking, and organizing. According to the Cleveland Clinic.
5. Learn a foreign language.
Keep Your Brain Sharp and Healthy 2. The listening and hearing involved in learning a new language stimulate the brain. Plus, being bilingual was associated with a lower risk of developing dementia in one meta-analysis published in October 2020 in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.
6. Create word pictures.
Visualize the spelling of a word in your head, and then try to think of other words that begin (or end) with the same two letters.
7. Draw a map from memory.
After returning home from visiting a new place, try to draw a map of the area. And repeat this exercise each time you go somewhere new. Here, is one past study, which focused on London taxi drivers. (who are expected to memorize the complex layout of the city), Also, found that drivers who successfully memorized the city map showed permanent changes to brain structure and better cognitive function.
8. Challenge your taste buds.
When eating, try to identify individual ingredients in your meal, including subtle herbs and spices. This is a great but simple challenge that makes you use your memory and senses.
9. Refine your hand-eye coordination.
Take up a new hobby that involves fine motor skills, and can help you keep your hand-eye coordination sharp. Per Harvard Health Publishing, this could include racquet sports, tai chi, knitting, drawing, painting, or playing video games.
10. Learn a new sport.
Start doing an athletic exercise. A review published in Frontiers in Psychology in December 2019 noted boosting your balance, strength, and aerobic capacity. — That is, your body’s ability to use oxygen for energy — can help protect your brain as you age. Morley specifically suggests yoga, golf, or tennis as exercises that boost brain health, while Harvard Health Publishing recommends swimming for its brain-boosting benefits.
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Soon people will realize they can take steps to keep their brains healthy, just as they know they can prevent heart disease by taking certain actions, says Bender: “In the coming decade, I predict brain wellness to be right up there with heart health, now that there’s proof that living a brain-healthy lifestyle works!”
Important Note *
Remember that everyone is different, it is ultimately YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to find what your body responds to. So please do your due diligence before trying anything new, including getting Medical Advice to ensure your safety and peace of mind.
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