Sunday, November 28, 2010

12 Way To Exercise Your Brain

Exercising your brain is essential to good mental health.  When it comes to your mind, the old adage “use it or lose it” truly applies.  Exercise is just as important to your brain as it is to your body if you want to stay mentally keen.

Our brains need stimulation and challenging tasks to retain cognitive and memory skills.  Do you have difficulty finding the right word when its on the tip of your tongue?  Are you forgetful?  Do you lose your train of thought?  You might consider trying to exercise your brain to keep your mental acuity.
Fantastic Ways to Exercise Your Brain!

1.  Do an art project like sculpting or painting

Art projects are great exercise for your brain.  They require you to be creative, use fine motor skills, and think analytically.  Enroll in an art class to get started.  Art can be fun, challenging and rewarding.  You’ll expand your horizons while exercising your mind.
2.  Expand your vocabulary

A strong vocabulary is one of the best indicators of intelligence.  Sign up for a service like Vocab Vitamins for a word a day newsletter.  You can then practice working the new words you learn into everyday conversations.  This will keep you mentally active and thinking.
3.  Practice visualization techniques

Creative visualization is the technique of using one’s imagination to create a mental image of what one desires.  In other words, visualization is the art of putting daydreaming to good use.  You can use visualization to exercise your creative faculties keeping them alive and well.
4.  Throw away the calculator

Do math the old-fashioned way to exercise your brain.  Sometimes it seems hard to even remember how to do basic math in our heads.  This is mental flabbiness.  The best way to overcome it is the same way we learned math in the first place.  Practice, practice, practice!
5.  Sing along to your favorite song

Fire up the 8-track and howl out at the top of your lungs.  Memorizing and recalling the lyrics of songs you love is a great way to exercise your brain.  It can also be a lot of fun!  Of course, your family and neighbors might disagree with me.
6.  Learn to play a musical instrument

Not a lead singer?  Then you might try out for the band instead.  Learning to play an instrument can be challenging.  This makes the perfect exercise for your brain.  You want to be challenged.  Push your mind and discover how much it still has to offer you.
7.  Memorize poetry and wisdom literature

Memorize and recite a love poem to your significant other.  They’ll love you for it and so will your brain.  Of course, if poetry isn’t your thang, then you can always memorize passages from classic wisdom literature or your favorite joke book!  Suit yourself.
8.  Solve a few brain teasers

Brain teasers come in all forms.  There are the ones you solve on paper and the ones where you try to untangle a seemingly impossible puzzle.  Either kind will serve our purpose.  The trick really is just to get your mind working harder than normal.
9.  Use a brain training video game

A great example of this is Brain Age for the Nintendo DS.  Brain Age gives your mind a workout by having you solve simple math problems, count currency, draw pictures on the Nintendo DS touch screen, and unscramble letters.  The great thing about the Nintendo DS is that it is portable so you can take it with you anywhere.
10.  Study a foreign language

Developing new language skills is a great workout for the mind.  Plus, bilingual people are in demand in many professions.  Learning to speak another language might not only help your brain, but it could benefit your bank account too!
11.  Assemble bikes, toys and furniture

As the man of the house, I often find myself putting together all kinds of things.  These projects are great exercise for the brain.  You know what I mean.  It is like a giant puzzle with a million tiny parts.  Don’t worry if you have a couple of leftovers.  That always happens to me too!
12.  Get rid of the GPS and use a map instead

Manually plan the route for your next road trip.  This engages your imagination and analytical skills.  We’ve become too reliant on our technological toys.  We need to stop letting the gadgets do all the thinking for us!
Exercise your brain and you can forget about memory leaks!

A good mental exercise regimen for your brain will help you stay sharp and keep your smarts.  I’m old enough that I already see the memory leaks starting to occur.  I have to take every opportunity to keep my mind in tip-top shape.  I plan to live a long, full life and I want to do everything possible to be sure my mind is able to keep up!

What do you do to stay mentally sharp?

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