Exercise Your Brain
You lift weights at the gym, go to spinning class or boot camp to get your cardio on, do yoga and Pilates to balance and tone, and meditate for peace and sanity … but what about your brain?
Does your brain have a favorite barre class or a private trainer? Well, it should.
Stop and think about it. Why don't we focus on our brain as much as we do the rest of our body when it comes to staying in shape? Sure, we might keep our brain crisp by learning another language, taking salsa lessons or doing a crossword puzzle every now and then, but what about a daily fitness routine for your brain?
Research shows this type of training can actually assist in preventing age-related cognitive decline, such as dementia and Alzheimer's.
I believe it is essential to work the left and right hemispheres of your brain daily. I drive home different ways every day so I keep away from routine and "auto-pilot" driving. I try to use my non-dominant hand as often as I can to play with balancing motor skills. I do Sudoku puzzles all the time. I enjoy challenging my brain just as much as I enjoy challenging my body. I practice mindful meditation daily, which assists in supporting the neuroplasticity of the brain as well.
There are also a number of free applications that you can download on your smartphone to help exercise your brain. Below are a few:
- I use Luminosity daily, which consists of exercises that are designed by neuroscientists to improve core cognitive functions of the brain.
- Math vs. Brain is a question solving game, where your job is to solve math questions for each challenge to collect as many stars as possible. It's designed for people of all ages and can be a fun game to play with friends and family.
- Clockwork Brain provides a series of mini-games that test different cognitive abilities, like vision, logic, language and memory.
- Charge Your Brain HD makes exercising your brain fun with entertaining mini-games that challenge your image recognition, speed of response, logic, and mathematic skills.