I talk a lot about physical health on the blog, but not so much about mental health – which is just as important. Many of us work hard at exercising our body, but exercising your brain can prolong memory, concentration and spatial awareness. We all think of getting older and our bodies becoming weaker and being able to do less, but I don’t think may of us think of the impact that age has on our brain. We become more forgetful, we can’t concentrate on things as long and then there is being generally confused. There are some things that you can do each day to help delay this though.
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This weeks little change as part of my AXA PPP healthcare 52 Little Things challenge is to give your brain a workout, so I thought I would share with you my tips for keeping your brain healthy and some small things you can do every day to keep your brain active.
1) Sudoku – Now, I am the first to admit that I am absolutely useless at this. My brain and numbers just don’t mix. But, I do attempt it every now and then and it is the trying that counts, right? It is still challenging my brain. I know lots of people that do Sudoku and really enjoy it.
2) Wikipedia – Chances are you already know what Wikipedia is and you use it every time you need to know something important, like who has the longest beard in the world (the longest beard ever measured belonged to Hans Langseth of Norway; at his death in 1927 it was 5.33m long) or how old the oldest cat was (Creme Puff died at age 38), but did you know that Wikipedia has a random button? You just click it and it gives you a totally random article to read. Now, I can’t say I was overly excited to read about Conrad I, Duke of Merania, but I did learn that he was the eldest of 2 sons. Learning things, anything, will keep your brain active. It might come in handy in a quiz one day. Or be another totally useless fact you will never need to know.
3) Skip the calculator – Do you ever use your phone to make the simplest of calculations just because you are too lazy to do it in your head? I am totally guilty of this. But, the more you rely on your phone, the less you will be able to do simple calculations without it. So, next time, just add it up in your head to keep your brain active.
4) Tell a story – This is a great one if you have kids in your life, or even pets (of course I don’t talk to my cats *ahem*), as they will benefit from your elaborate story telling too. Story telling has actually been used to treat Alzeheimer’s disease, so it will definitely help you with your memory. If you have a long list of things to remember, turn them in to a story. I used to do this with exams at uni. When I was trying to remember different sociologists and their theories, I would make up a story about them all and it always worked.
5) Meditate – I spoke a bit about meditation the other day, but stress has a big impact on how well your brain functions. Taking some time out to relax and to meditate will help your brain to be healthier.
6) Read more – Reading is one of the best and easiest ways to exercise your brain. The more challenging the book or article is, the more of a workout it will give your brain.
7) Use an app – There really is an app for everything. The one I use is called Lumosity and it has different memory games, and things to challenge your brain. You can set goals for yourself as well.
8) Word of the Day – You don’t have to get word of the day toilet paper, although, why not? But learning a new word every day is a great way to keep your brain active and also widen your vocabulary. There are loads of websites for word of the day or just pick one from the dictionary each day.
9) Play video games – This one might sound surprising, but a lot of video games are actually really good for problem solving (I should like a kid trying to convince my parent to let me play more video games). Like, how do I get out of this tunnel? How can I get more coins? Yes, I play Mario. Video games also help you to think faster as well.
10) Turn off the TV – This one is kind of obvious, but still worth mentioning. The reason why TV is so relaxing is because it is so easy to watch. It is practically telling you what to think and your brain doesn’t need to do much. Unless you are watching some kind of game show and joining in of course.
Do you do any of the things above? Have any other tips to share? Have problems with your memory? Leave a comment below.
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