Mental Health – 8 Exercises to Enhance Brain Power
Activities as simple as handwriting, reading, or walking can be essential to boost your brainpower and avoid the cognitive deterioration that can appear over time. Increasing brainpower is a healthy habit that we must do regularly. Just like physical exercise is one of the most remarkable ways to improve our body’s strength, endurance, and flexibility, there are specific workouts to exercise the brain. That’s crucial to help preserve memory and other necessary skills. Fortunately, many exercises boost up your health and protect your cognitive functions. Next, we detail the eight best ones so you can start including them in your routine. Although it sounds strange, the brain remains active even when the body is at rest. In the same way that we exercise to stay healthy, the complexity of this organ requires that specific activities be carried out to keep it in good shape. Check them out below.
Reading is a basic exercise to increase brain power and develop cognitive thinking. In addition, this type of practice helps to relax the mind and decrease the tension associated with excess stress. As indicated in a study by Brain Connectivity in which it was evidenced, through the use of magnetic resonance images, that, during the reading period of a novel, the brain connectivity of the participants increased in the part of the brain that responds to sensations physical such as movement and pain.
#2. Write by Hand
We are in a time when technology facilitates an integral part of daily activities. Among them, those that have to do with writing are also included. For example, tablets, cell phones, and all keyboard devices help save time typing. As a result, it is more efficient when doing specific tasks. However, writing by hand is a skill that should not be neglected since it helps to work areas of the brain that allow for meaningful learning. That’s because this part of the body processes what you are doing while you focus on writing – confirmed by a publication in Psychology Today. It was shown that this practice, especially if it is in italics, causes the mind to develop a kind of functional specialisation that integrates movement control, sensation, and movement.
#3. Play Puzzles
Another exercise to increase brain power is to put together puzzles. According to research published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, this activity is an excellent way to improve cognitive skills. For example, analysing the different elements to know where they fit in is essential when trying to complete an image.
#4. Practice Simple Math Every Day
Math activities are one of the best exercises to strengthen memory and increase brain power. Research published in the journal Age found that solving arithmetic problems was effective in improving cognitive functions in older people. Exercises can be done by hand or using apps for mobile devices and computers. A good option is to do the Minute Challenge, which asks you to solve as many maths problems as possible before 60 seconds have elapsed.
#5. Solve Sudokus
The classic Sudoku game is a prevalent mental activity, which aims to fill in a grid with numbers from 1 to 9 without repeating them in any direction. This game is demanding on the mind and contributes to improving problem-solving skills.
It is no secret to anyone that exercising is essential for good health, both body and the mind. For example, walking and similar activities can significantly improve cognitive function in older people, including verbal memory, fluency, and attention. In this regard, information published in Harvard Medical School suggests that physical activity slows down cognitive decline and can even reduce the risk of dementia. Furthermore, it indicates that the benefits are almost instantaneous. So don’t hesitate to exercise if you need to focus or solve problems.
#7. Learn Another Language
No matter how old you are, learning another language helps to work on regions of the cerebral cortex associated with acoustic processing, comprehension, and articulation of words. In addition, it enhances the ability to learn. According to a publication by Cerebrum, bilingualism can contribute to better memory, better visual-spatial skills, and higher levels of creativity. It is never too late to learn. Go ahead and study a new language and enjoy the benefits of this new skill.
#8. Develop a New Skill
As with language, as a study published in the journal Psychological Science indicates, developing a new skill that activates reasoning, spreads continuous learning, and stimulates the intellect could help improve memory in older adults. As you can see, all these simple exercises stimulate brain activity and are also an excellent option to mitigate the effects of stress. No matter how old you are, it is never too late to take care of your health. So dare to practice them and gain more brainpower!