5 Easy Brain Boosters
With all the talk about logical recreational exercises like Sudoku, crossword puzzles and other mind games, there has been an upswing in research suggesting that actual physical exercise is the best way to get your brain juices flowing! Some studies show that about 75% of brain aging can be delayed if not stopped by making small changes to your everyday routine. Here are five brain boosting tips that you can adopt today. It’s easier than you might think to cultivate good brain performance!
- Practice “5 for 5” rhythm
Some studies are showing how multitasking is actually counterproductive and detrimental to mental alertness. Multitasking may actually cause the brain to shrink. It has been known to reduce the size of the hippocampus, a brain region instrumental to memory and learning. One way to counter this is to reduce the amount of multitasking you do each day. Simply let your brain recharge five times a day by taking five minutes to rest. This means no social media, no radio talk shows, no emails, no talking and definitely no TV … just peace and quiet, and rest. Suggested activities for those 5 minutes include: stretching, sitting outside in fresh air, or meditating.
- Child’s Play
The concentration needed to play kids’ games has been shown to sharpen your wits and memory. Exercise your brain cells with memory card games. The same cute card games that six-year-olds love actually revs up the mental recall of 60-year-olds.
- Reproduce your neurons by taking a stroll
A leisurely stroll without breaks is a great (and healthy) way to encourage the growth of your “gray matter”. In fact, walking non-stop is so effective in neural growth that strolling for 25 minutes a few times a week will keep your brain’s growth farm for new brain cells in shape.
- Try “minute” mindfulness!
Daily stress can promote memory impairment and directly interferes with the neurotransmitters that make you feel good. To keep forgetfulness at bay, try taking a few long, deep breaths and repeat for a period of 60 seconds. One minute is enough to beat down the stress hormones that impede memory.
- Practice other-handedness.
If you're right-handed, try brushing your teeth, eating or writing your “to do” or grocery list with your left hand. Or even using a keyboard to type out an email rather than use dictation software actually causes both sided of your brain to be stimulated. Start out small and see if you can increase the complexity of activities.
We all know the saying “use it or lose it!” And this may be doubly true for working out your brain. Try one or all of these suggestions. It may help your retirement years more productive, rewarding and fun! If you think you may be suffering from memory loss, please consult your physician.