We all know the importance of keeping our body fuelled by eating healthy foods and fit with a regular exercise regime, but too few of us pay enough attention to keeping our brain fit and healthy. Anatomically your brain is not a muscle, but similarly to muscles, the principle ‘use it or lose it applies’. Mental stimulation improves brain function, and by exercising it, you are able to expand your memory, solve problems quicker and easier, and pay more attention, but how do you exercise your grey matter? Here are 3 ways to exercise you brain.
Reading books is a wonderful way to exercise your brain. If you aren’t particularly a keen reader, don’t be put off. You don’t have to read War and Peace, you can start your reading regime with magazines and newspapers, but aim to work your way up. The subject matter is irrelevant at this stage, as you just need to get into the habit of it.
As you read more books you’ll be passively learning new vocabulary, and extending your brain’s capabilities in the process. If you’re unsure about a word or the context that it’s used in, use a dictionary or thesaurus – aim to learn a new word a day.
As your brain is stretched and your vocabulary improved on, get into the habit of doing a daily crossword. They are often found in the back of newspapers, and are a relaxing and fun way to exercise your brain further. As you continue to read more, you’ll notice that the speed at which you’re able to complete the crosswords improves dramatically.
Tactical games give your brain a full workout. Games like chess require tactical thinking, strategies and above all, you need to pay attention. Both sides of your brain are used in chess – the right side for creativity and the left for logic – so it really is a great way to improve your brain’s function.
Research from the University of Iowa has shown that online games may help to slow the degree of mental decay associated with aging – they can be cognitively complex and require mental abilities to play them. A few rounds of roulette games at SportPesa would be an exciting way to exercise your brain; you’ll develop quicker responses, and improve alertness.
Talking with people is a great way to give your brain a workout, but make sure that you don’t restrict yourself to just pleasantries – choose to open up debate with friends that you know will be able to enjoy it, as you don’t want to offend people. By having challenging conversations about subjects that are usually avoided, such as politics, religion and money, your brain has a workout by having to articulate and critically think in a way that isn’t the norm. You’ll have to listen to the other side’s opinion, process the information, and then form a response that defines your opinion. If you don’t feel comfortable engaging with your friends for these types of conversations, think about joining a debating society, where your views will be challenged without the risk of offending!