Working out is important to keep you healthy, but are you in the habit of doing brain exercises?
The brain is one of the most important organs of the human body, and you should often exercise it to keep it in tip-top shape.
When we go to a fitness center and do the same movements using the same weight for months, our body tends to get used to it and stop evolving. This analogy may be applied to the evolution of our neurons.
By always doing the same things, our brain also goes into autopilot mode because it already knows these actions by heart.
This keeps our cognitive abilities in the comfort zone, as we don’t challenge ourselves with new activities.
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Check out these 9 brain exercises:
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Why are brain exercises so important?
The human body is highly capable of adapting and evolving according to your needs.
This is also true of our brain, which in the past was used for food, shelter, and survival. Nowadays, this is all easily achieved without much brain strain. This way, the organ understands that it does not make sense to spend all its energy if everything is there, easily reachable.
Then, neurobics, the aerobic practice of our neurons, seeks to remove the brain from its comfort zone and enhance cognitive abilities. It stimulates the production of the neurotransmitter hormones serotonin, adrenaline and dopamine, improving the connections between cells.
Neurobic practice involves simple exercises that can be done routinely or with more complex challenges and that people of all ages may do. It consists of reversing the order of some common day-to-day actions.
The intention is that the activities are carried out consciously, leading us to emotional and brain reactions.
Therefore, persons with a trained brain are not those who win a math competition, but those who can adapt and challenge themselves in ordinary situations, such as dressing with their eyes closed or walking backwards.
It is worth mentioning that these good habits help prevent degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
9 exercises to keep your brain sharp
There are numerous forms of strengthening your brain. But we must remember that stimulation will only be effective when you are developing one or more of our 5 senses into a new context, turning routine activity into something unexpected.
Learn some exercises
The practice of meditation improves our lives in many aspects. It works on breathing, controlling emotions, and spiritual development without necessarily entering the realm of religious guidance.
By meditating, your capacity for concentration increases, because you focus your attention on just one activity.
It also helps promote discipline, confidence, and self-awareness – we frequently do not have time to stop and think about our lives and choices, do we?
Also, meditation is the antidote to stress, that generates a number of secondary diseases.
Everything that involves learning something new is a way to exercise the brain. That’s why you should learn new games that work different abilities that you may use to solve things.
Crossword puzzles and Sudoku are the best-known games for improving memory, but there are other types that you can download to your phone.
Let’s check some examples:
- The Room is a mobile game that invites the user to find alternatives to leave a place through clues and puzzles.
- There’s also Amazing Alex, a game where users need to create small circuits with scenery objects.
- We may also mention Fit Brains Trainer, which has 360 games that help to exercise the brain in many ways.
The ability to memorize information may decrease over time, depending on the person’s health. That’s why doing exercises that work the brain as a whole is essential.
Having an efficient ability to reason is worthless if your memory often fails in some situations.
Training the memory doesn’t require very complex exercises.
Reading a book and telling the story to someone, making a mental list of the last items you bought at the grocery store, and remembering the actions you did last week are all ways to work on the memorization part.
This is another form of delaying the mind’s aging.
Learning may be challenging in the beginning, but discipline will help in progress.
By studying a new language, you expand your vocabulary, learn new rules, and force yourself to memorize new information.
Learning to play a musical instrument is beneficial for both brain and body.
This activity improves the musicians’ motor skills and requires them to be able to play and coordinate their hands at the right pace.
At first, it may be difficult and frustrating, but over time other areas become visibly simpler.
In addition, music is good at any stage of life – especially if learning occurs in childhood, as developing children can learn new activities more easily.
Small daily changes may better train the brain. So, switch up or change the way of doing your daily activities.
You may brush your teeth with the other hand, reverse the watch to the opposite wrist, change the mouse side, develop tasks with your eyes closed, change your path to work, or go to the supermarket without a shopping list.
When we give up our comforts or our habits, the brain tends to become more awake to ensure a correct result, even if you change the way of doing it.
Food interferes with the human body functioning as a whole, including the brain.
About 20% of the sugar consumed goes to this organ, making brain function work well. So if these levels are not controlled, there may be a high chance of mental confusion.
Our body is completely connected and millions of microbes attach to an intestine-brain axis. That’s why food has so much influence over mental abilities.
Therefore, balance is critical to the well-being and opting for a varied and healthy diet helps keep that in sync.
8. Sleep Well
Nowadays, we all have a busy schedule, and sometimes it’s hard to get the doctor-recommended 8 hours of sleep. Don’t tell me you’ve never stayed past your bedtime to binge-watch your favorite TV show, huh?
The trouble is that it only takes one poor night’s sleep to affect your brain’s health and its proper functioning.
According to researchers at Harvard Medical School, poor sleep can increase the chances of developing anxiety and depression and impair your brain’s performance significantly.
That’s why you should try to get a good night’s sleep every day, with a regular sleep schedule and in a pleasant and comfortable environment. Also, stay away from anything that can affect your sleep, such as cell phones, computers, and TVs.
9. Exercise your body
Healthy body, healthy mind.
I’m sure you’ve heard this popular saying at some point in your life. Well, just know that it’s beyond accurate!
Scientific evidence has shown that working out regularly helps reshape the brain, stimulating the hippocampus, an area of the brain related to verbal memory and learning.
So, if you want to strengthen your brain, keep your mind sharp and boost your memory, there’s nothing better than exercise. You can start now, just put on your running shoes and hit that pavement!
Putting ideas into practice
With these tips, you’ll be able to create strategies and hopefully build an entrepreneurial mind focused on results.
Keep in mind that brain exercises won’t make you smarter overnight, but will contribute to improving your concentration, memorization and logical thinking.
How do you like our list? Are you used to doing any of these brain exercises?
To learn more, check out our post about how a personal canvas can boost your development!
This post was originally published in December of 2019. It has been updated to contain more complete information.