5 Tips and Tricks to Train, Exercise, and Better Your Brain
Anyone with a brain exercises these days, but did you know exercise can return the favor and train your brain? Not only is exercise smart for your heart and weight, but it can make you smarter and better at what you do.
We now have evidence that engaging in pure mental training can induce changes not just in the function of the brain, but in the brain’s structure itself,” Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
While we’re always using our brains, we’re not necessarily doing much to keep them in good shape. Here are the top five tools to train your brain and exercise your mental muscles.
By now you’re probably familiar with Sudoku, but just in case it’s a number puzzle game with the objective of filling up a grid of numbers. Check out these instructions to learn how to play. Most people find Sudoku a fun and addictive game, plus it can help improve your problem-solving skills (just not your overall brain health).
3. Practice Simple Math Every Day
Perhaps you remember the Mad Math Minute from grade school, where you’d need to solve as many math problems as possible in 60 seconds. While it may have seemed annoying then, it was excellent practice that you can still make use of now. Plus it’s easy enough to create your own Mad Math Minute worksheets, since you’re basically just writing out a bunch of simple math problems on a piece of paper.
2. Write Instead of Type (More Often)
We love our keyboards. They’re much more efficient at getting words on the page than your hand, a pencil, and a notebook. Nonetheless, you can learn more effectively by writing longhand and so you may want to ditch the laptop when you’re acquiring new knowledge. This happens because your brain’s filtering system (the reticular activating system, or RAS) processes what you’re actively focusing on at the moment. Writing triggers the RAS and lets your brain know it’s time to pay attention.
1. Exercise and Eat Well
While probably a little obvious (and something we’ve previously noted), I’d bet that the number of people who believe this is common knowledge is very close to the number of people who don’t follow that common knowledge. If you’re not exercising and eating right simply because you don’t know how, well, start by 15-minute daily workout and structure a daily diet like a pyramid. If you’re worried about spending too much money to eat healthy, there are plenty of great reader suggestions for eating health on the cheap. Anything you do to keep your brain sharp can be easily thwarted if you don’t keep your body healthy. A little physical activity and a smart diet will make it much easier for you to your brain in top shape.