ave you been doing physical exercises to strengthen and tone your body? Then you are certainly on the right track. But as you religiously do stretching and push-ups, do remember that there is another body part that needs regular flexing– your brain muscles! That is if you wish to keep your mind alert and your memory strong. Fortunately, brain exercises do not necessarily mean reading tons of books or solving complicated math equations. Simple activities and changes in your routine can help maximize your brain power to the fullest. Here are easy brain exercises that are worth a try because they can actually work:
Do some tai chi and yoga.
Are you up for some moves that involve meditation and discipline? You may want to do tai chi, a form of exercise that originated in China or try Yoga, a mind and body practice that came from India. A number of studies show that practicing these ancient forms of exercises can significantly help in reducing stress and improving physical health. Tai chi and yoga are likewise linked to enhancing cognitive abilities. Apparently, certain yoga poses can increase blood supply to the brain and enhance memory. On the other hand, one research shows that older adults who engage in tai chi training reported an increase in brain metabolism.
Use your non-dominant hand.
Most people tend to use or prefer their dominant hand to perform tasks such as writing, cleaning, or picking up things. Science explains that this is aligned with the brain parts that we are mostly using. Thus, right-handed people are using the right hemisphere while the left hemisphere is more active with left-handed people. This means that we can stimulate the other side of our brain by using our non-dominant hands once in a while.
Break your routines.
Our brain picks up our routines that make certain tasks easier or predictable in time. Maybe you always follow the same route for your morning walk or tend to sit at the same spot at a dining table. Spruce things up a bit by altering some of your habits. You can pick a new path for your morning exercise or pick a different chair at a dining table. This is a way to challenge yourself and keep your brain waves pumping at the same time.
Play a game wherein you will get a common object such as a comb or a plate and think of new ways to use it. So instead of a tool for brushing hair, a comb can be a paintbrush or a musical instrument while a plate will not be for eating but as a wall decor or a toy. You may just be surprised with a list of unique and hilarious ideas you can think of. This is a fun brain exercise that can boost creativity and intuitiveness.
Test your senses.
We all know the uses and importance of our five senses. But to test and stimulate your brain muscles, you may want to rely on just one or two of your senses to do some tasks. As an example, you can try to guess the coin denomination with your sense of touch alone. Another idea is to listen to the first few beats of the song and try to guess the song title. You can also take an object such as a vase or a painting and observe it for a few seconds. Then close your eyes and describe the object using every detail you remember about it.
Squat some more.
If squatting is your favorite form of exercise, chances are you are doing your brain muscles a big favor. According to research published by the Harvard Business School, including the squat posture in your exercise routine can enhance mental alertness. This means there is no reason for you to drop squatting out of your exercise regimen.
Maintaining a sharp and active mind is a prerequisite for a happy and productive life. So as we go about our day-to-day tasks, it will do us good to pay close attention to the gray matter between our ears.