Exercise for Your Brain
Similarly to the way that any muscle strengthens when it is exercised, your mind strengthens when you stimulate it. If you are not challenging it enough, atrophy can set in, and cause memory loss as well as other health problems. A sharp mind goes a long way as we age because it helps us enjoy more activities and memories. So, which brain exercises should you do and why?
One of the best things you can do for your mind is read on a consistent basis. Focusing on the words and going from line to line is an excellent brain exercise. Plus, you will be learning new things from the stories or information you are absorbing. A good tip is to read a variety of different styles and subjects to challenge your brain and help it explore new avenues of thinking.
Writing might seem logical considering the benefits of the above section on reading. It is very important and allows you to engage your creativity and cognitive skills at the same time. Plus, there are limitless things to write about, and it will always be fresh and exciting. You do not have to be a writer and it does not matter how well you write; the process alone is good exercise for your brain. Try writing stories, poems, song lyrics, journal entries, or whatever is on your mind. Besides improving your brain's health, writing is also a great therapeutic outlet.
While talking, your memory is boosted along with your thinking abilities. A conversation requires you to use coordination and motor skills, making it a very versatile exercise. If no one is around, you can still talk or read out loud, sing, or even have a conversation with yourself occasionally.
Games and Puzzles
Growing up, you probably had the chance to play some games that were building your brain power without you even realizing it. Crossword puzzles and search-a-words are particularly effective in using a variety of essential functions, including logic, math, word recognition, and memory. Brain teasers are available in many forms and you can purchase books that are full of various types of them. For an extra challenge, design your own puzzle or game. Think of a topic and create a puzzle based on it. Use your favorite kind of puzzle as a template and make it as easy or difficult as you want, depending on your preference. Then, let other people try to solve the puzzle to see how much fun brain exercising can really be.
Continuing the analogy of muscles and brains: Both need rest to strengthen and recover. No matter which mind exercise you choose, be sure to only do it for short periods of time and avoid lengthy "brain workouts." To make the activities more exciting, combine them, or change to another one so that your mind is being stimulated in multiple ways. Always get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to feel refreshed and ready to use your brain again the next day.
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