The improvement of health and life in general is achieved by regular exercise and a healthy diet. However, physical exercise tends to be far more emphasized and this leads to mental exercises being overlooked. Engaging in exercises that address each cognitive function of the brain is a good place to start when maintaining a healthy mind.
Memory loss is very noticeable. Trying to recall something and constantly forgetting is frustrating. Spending a few minute listening to an unfamiliar song and memorizing the lyrics is a good way to keep your brain occupied. Brushing your teeth in the morning with the non-dominant hand, dressing in the dark are also challenging activities that can be done as they help build new associations between different neuron connections of the brain.
Improving focus enables increased productivity. The brain gets distracted easily and loses focus especially if subjected to a constant routine. To stimulate the brain, change the morning routine and take different routes to work or school. This forces the brain to pay attention as the sequence of events is unfamiliar.
Fluency, grammatical skills and vocabulary can be improved constantly. To challenge the brain, read material that differs from your normal area of interest. For example, reading the sports column instead of the usual business column exposes you to new words, and with the help of a dictionary, you can understand the context and practice in its use.
Our interaction with the environment is largely through the eyes. To challenge the brain, take a mental note of where several items are located in a room and after leaving the room, recall where the objects were. After two hours, note down the objects and location to determine your retention level.
Decision making is a fundamental skill. With video games, progression to the next level is wholly based on the real time decisions made. Play a video game and record your progress till you reach the end of the game.
Brain exercises cannot be used as a substitute to a healthy lifestyle but are a great complement, and with new dementia diagnoses every 4 seconds, all efforts must be put into keeping the brain healthy and sharp. It’s important to flex our brain power the older we get. As you implement these tips into your daily life, they will become habitual and second nature to you.