Your brain is one of the most critical parts of your body. Just like your muscles, you need to exercise the brain for it to grow and work better. Among the benefits you can get from engaging your brain in activities includes; improved memory, better focus, mental health, and fitness just to name a few.
You need to do a variety of exercises to reap the best benefits for your brain. And when your brain gets used to one activity, know it’s time to move to the different challenge. Below are eight ways to exercise the brain and make it perform better.
Meditation has a lot of benefits to your mental health. It helps to keep you relaxed, collected and relieves the mind from stress and pressure. This improves your cognitive resilience and ability to focus. One important form of meditation is mindfulness meditation where you are required to focus on your current condition and to be mindful of your surroundings and feelings. This improves your concentration span.
Daily meditation also helps in increasing the gray matter, a substance that has neuron cell bodies, in the brain. Gray matter increases your cognition ability and memory. Gray matter decreases with age; it is, therefore, essential to meditate more every day. To enjoy this memory boosting workout, you are required to spend about 20 minutes of meditation every day.
2. Play brain games
There are a bunch of brain games you can play to exercise the brain and improve your cognitive ability. These games do not only strengthen your memory, but it is also a fun way to do so. Crosswords, Sudoku, chess, and word recall games are an exceptional way to boost your memory. Studies have shown that brain-training games improve memory, concentration, and problem-solving skills in individuals.
You can spend about 15 minutes of your day undertaking brain fitness programs. As you challenge your brain with these programs, you enhance your brain speed and therefore improved cognitive ability.
Choose the game you enjoy the most. This way you will be able to enjoy the brain work out and get your brain to perform better.
3. Physical exercise
Physical exercise will not only help keep your body fit, but it also puts your brain in shape. As you practice, your brain learns new muscle skills. Also, your brain learns to ignore distractions and concentrate on working out and improves your brain’s resilience.
Some physical exercise like weight lifting pumps irons to the brain. Iron aids in the development of the brain. It also increases the supply of oxygen to the brain which stimulates cognitive activity hence improves the functioning of the brain.
Regular physical exercise also helps in preventing cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. 20 minutes of intense exercise is enough for your brain every day.
4. Eat with chopsticks
Eating with chopsticks is one of the most effective ways to exercise the brain and get it to perform better. It allows you to eat mindfully which is beneficial to your brain as it helps in increasing your concentration level. Besides, it improves your digestion and calorie consumption that allows for increased nutrients which enhance your brain health.
In addition, switching to chopsticks helps grow new dendrites. Dendrites are extensions of nerve cells that allow transmission of impulses from the cells to the cell body. These dendrites improve communication in the brain cells and thereby the overall health of your brain.
If you are already good at eating with chopsticks, it is advisable to try using your non-dominant hand. This way your brain has to learn the changes which improve its functioning.
5. Learn new skills
Different skills engage your brain differently. So, if you want your brain to perform better, then learn a new skill. This puts your memory to work as the brain tries to familiarize with new movements. The more your brain is put into practice, the sharper it becomes. Some of the new skills you can learn to challenge your brain include cooking, knitting, or even playing an instrument like a guitar.
You can also engage in ‘purposeful activities’ like dancing and drawing. These skills stimulate your neurological system and improve your mental health. Also, skills like dancing improve you’re the processing speed of your brain due to the quick change in body movement.
6. Use your non-dominant hand more often
Mostly, people have a dominant and non-dominant hand. The brain controls people to use their dominant hands more. Using the non-dominant hand increases brain activity which helps your brain to work out. You should try doing tasks like eating, writing and brushing your teeth with the non-dominant hand.
Besides, using the other hand increases brain creativity and helps the brain integrate the left and right hemisphere. Integration of the two hemispheres assists in better communication and coordination making your brain perform better.
7. Read books
Reading is beneficial to your brain in so many ways. Books expose you to different ideas and knowledge hence improving your emotional intelligence. It also improves your vocabulary, aids in mental stimulation, enhances your concentration, and improves your memory by engaging your memory muscles. Reading more books can also help in growing white matter that aids in communication.
It is advisable to read lengthy content as things get to be explained better than in short posts. This, however, does not mean that longer content is better than short posts. You can also make reading more fun engaging to your brain by reading aloud with a partner. This makes you imaginative and makes your brain to work better.
8. Do things the hard way
If you want to make your brain work better, then you should start making it work more. You should stop relying too much on technology. Some of the tasks you can do on your own to exercise the brain include doing quick math with your brain rather than using a calculator, reading maps on your own and trying to memorize your family members’ and friends’ phone numbers.
Your brain flourishes on a variety of challenges to keep it working better. Never stay in your comfort zone. Exercise every day to make your brain function better. As you exercise the brain, make sure the tasks are varied and complex. This will not only make your brain active and better performing, but you will also be happy.