Stay Sharp: 6 Exercises to Keep Your Brain Strong
Just like our body, the brain also gets out of shape if we don’t exercise. We pay a lot of attention to physical exercise – we go running, we go to the gym, we play sports. But when it comes to our brain, we tend to neglect the importance of keeping fit. You can and should change that. Take some time for a daily mental work-out with these fun and useful tips.
1. Help Others
As we get older, we tend to forget about the power and importance of altruism. We get caught up in our daily routines and our problems and stop paying attention to the people around us. The fact is that our brain needs altruism. It is crucial for the health of our brain and our mental health. And it doesn’t take much to practice it. Get used to genuinely caring about people around you, listen to what they have to say and offer your help if you can. You will see how good you will feel afterwards.
2. Don’t Eat (For a While)
We’re not talking about starving yourself until you faint, only skipping a meal every once in a while. Being, let’s say, 15 hours without food can have all sorts of benefits for your brain. Not only does it reduce stress, it also helps your brain “clean up” the space – get rid of old cells so that new cells have room to move in. Your brain becomes stronger and more resistant to damage. You should by no means overdo this, because then it can have negative consequences.
3. Listen and Make Music
It’s a well-known fact that music is good for us for numerous reasons. So, you should always make time to play something relaxing or stimulating for your brain. You can do it while you rest or even while you work. However, it’s even better if you can find a way to produce music. Maybe you’ve always wanted to join a choir or play an instrument; well, you should definitely do it. Besides, learning something new and challenging your brain in that way will only keep it younger. Not only is this excellent for your brain, it will make you feel great.
4. Spell It Out
Exercise your brain by trying to spell difficult words in your head. You can do this whenever you have a few minutes of free time in your packed schedule, while you’re commuting to work or waiting for a friend to arrive. It’s simple but effective, it’s like doing push-ups for your brain. To make it even more challenging and stimulating, make a word chain – take the last two letters of your word and find another word that starts with those two letters. Repeat a few times and you’ll feel fresher in an instant.
5. Play a Sport
Vibrant brain in a vibrant body. Physical work-out definitely influences your brain health and activity. Don’t think that your brain is doing nothing while you’re exercising. Especially if you’re playing a sport that requires thinking and strategizing – such as basketball or tennis, for example. You can stick to the sports you know, but it would be even better for your brain to learn a new sport. Think of something you have always wanted to try and go for it. If your body is healthy and strong, it’s more likely that your brain will be too.
Resting is terribly underrated. It’s not true that you have to be doing something in order for your brain to be energized. A good night’s sleep is just as important. Your brain needs those hours of sleep to rest and get ready for a new day, just like your body. Especially if you have been under a lot of pressure during the day, your brain gets exhausted just like your muscles. So try not to eat anything two hours prior to going to bed, turn all the lights off and make sure you get enough sleep.