Our brain is extremely important since it is responsible for everything we do, think, and feel and as such needs to be cared for just as much if not more than other parts of our body. Our mind tends to grow weaker with age, but luckily, there are many exercises one can do to strengthen it, especially as we get older. Anyone can incorporate these activities into their daily lives and will certainly see, over time, all the advantages this habit has to offer.
The exercises will not only keep your mind strong but also improve your memory, boost your focus, enhance your brain’s capabilities, its function, and keep you safe from mental illnesses too. No matter how old a person is, the brain is capable of changing and adapting, meaning that it is never too late to start taking care of your mind.
So, if you are interested in learning some of the ways you can improve your cognitive function, here are several activities you can try.
1. A Healthy Body Equals a Healthy Mind
Keeping your body healthy and in shape is important for your mental health as well. Even a bit of daily exercise can do wonders for your brain from improving its function to generating new cells. Not only that, but exercising also increases your blood flow, bringing more oxygen to the brain which in return raises your energy levels, increases clarity, stimulates brain activity, boosts concentration, reduces stress, extends your life expectancy, and improves your overall quality of life.
If you are not really into having a typical exercising regime, you can try other activities such as dancing. You can either do it on your own at home by watching tutorials and videos online or you can take a dancing class and choose from a variety of styles such as Zumba, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, ballroom, and even line dancing.
2. Learn to Play an Instrument
This is an activity that does require persistence and a bit more of your free time. However, studies have shown that playing an instrument greatly strengthens a bundle of nerves known as the corpus callosum which connects the brain’s left and right hemispheres.
This means that the integration of your sensory, cognitive, and motor skills from one side to the other will be greatly improved and strengthened, no matter the instrument you opt for.
3. Start Painting
You do not need to be especially talented in drawing or painting to be able to enjoy them. Such pastimes are incredibly beneficial for your mind since they can help you relax, get rid of stress, and also teach you how to cope with it better.
Moreover, painting can help treat depression and also prevent it alongside several other mental illnesses. Visual arts are great for memory and cognition issues and greatly help prevent mental decline as people age.
There is no better hobby than engaging in art, especially for aging minds. So if you decide to take up this activity but have no idea what to paint, you can find some inspiration here.
4. Do Brain Exercises
Brain exercises involve activities that help build its strength and ensure our brain remains flexible and changeable over time. These pastimes include anything that challenges your mind such as crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, card games, and even solving a Rubik’s cube or riddles.
All of this will enable your mind to stay vital and strong even as you get older and form new connections between nerves which is very important since they carry information from our brain to the rest of our body. Besides, these hobbies are fun and doing some of them can also help you learn new things and interesting information.
5. Read Books and Build Your Vocabulary
Reading books does not only spur our imagination or transport us into new worlds but also has the ability to lower blood pressure since sitting down with a good book is extremely relaxing.
When it comes to the benefits it has on the mind, many studies have shown that reading actually helps develop and improve intelligence, specifically fluid intelligence which is related to problem-solving abilities, crystallized intelligence connected to the ability to use acquired information or knowledge, as well as emotional intelligence which is the ability of recognizing, understanding, and managing emotions.
Moreover, something as simple as learning new vocabulary can greatly stimulate your brain. So, the next time you start reading an interesting book, why not have a notebook on hand where you can write down any vocabulary you might not know along with its definition. The next day, try to incorporate newly learned words into your speech or at least try to make a few sentences in your free time.
6. Try Learning Something New
Taking up a new hobby and learning a new skill have several benefits such as boosting your memory, stimulating your brain, and strengthening its connections. If there is something you have always wanted to learn or try but never had the time to do, now would be a perfect chance to try it out.
Learning a foreign language is also advantageous, fun, and interesting. Not only will you become more accomplished but you will also protect your mind since studies have shown that bilingual people are less susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease, as well as several other mental illnesses.
7. Start Gardening
Every good gardener has mastered the skill of multi-tasking. Besides having to carefully plan and map out the area, you will also have to learn a lot of information about the plants and flowers you want to grow, as well as keep track of the growing cycle and maintain your garden properly. This is why it is safe to say that gardening greatly stimulates one’s brain and has numerous mental health benefits.
Choose an exercise or a few of them and enjoy your time unwinding while also strengthening your mind in the process. You can opt for something that is a bit harder and requires time or go for an easy activity if that is something you prefer.
No matter how busy you are during the day, it is important to take time and relax both physically and mentally. Even if it is just for a little while it will benefit your body in every way possible and immensely boost your focus and cognitive abilities. Always remember to take a break and try your best to make both your body and mind as strong as you can.