As individuals age, it becomes increasingly important to take care of and enhance brain function through mental exercises. Regular brain exercises can improve memory, focus, and daily functionality. There are many evidence-based exercises that offer brain-boosting benefits, regardless of age. In this article, we will explore ten of the best exercises for improving brain function.
Jigsaw puzzles are a great way to exercise the brain. Research has shown that jigsaw puzzles recruit multiple cognitive abilities and can be a protective factor for visuospatial cognitive aging. Analyzing different pieces and figuring out where they fit within the larger picture challenges and exercises the brain.
Playing card games has also been shown to lead to greater brain volume in several regions of the brain, according to a 2015 study. The same study found that card games can improve memory and thinking skills. Popular card games that can be learned include solitaire, bridge, gin rummy, poker, hearts, and crazy eights.
Building vocabulary is another excellent brain-boosting exercise. Writing down an unfamiliar word, looking up its definition, and trying to use that word five times the next day can help engage many regions of the brain, particularly in areas that are important for visual and auditory processing.
Dancing can also increase the brain’s processing speed and memory, as noted by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control. Trying different dance activities like salsa, tap, hip-hop, or contemporary dance classes, Zumba, jazz exercise classes, or even watching an online video with fun dance moves can benefit the brain.
Engaging all five senses simultaneously can also strengthen the brain, according to a 2015 research report. Activities like baking a batch of cookies, visiting a farmer’s market, or trying a new restaurant can help engage the senses and give the brain a workout.
Acquiring a new skill can enhance brain connections and memory function in older adults, as demonstrated in a 2014 research study. Whether it’s learning to fix a car, using software, or horseback riding, acquiring a new skill can boost brain function.
Additionally, teaching a skill to others can broaden one’s learning by requiring the explanation of concepts and correcting mistakes.
Playing or listening to music can foster creativity, as indicated by a 2017 study that suggests happy music prompts innovative thinking.
Modifying daily routines, such as using a different route to work or mode of transportation, can alter thinking patterns and increase enjoyment.
Meditation is another effective brain exercise that calms the body, slows breathing, reduces stress and anxiety, and improves memory and information processing.
Engaging in these exercises regularly can improve cognitive abilities, maintain mental sharpness over time, and make daily tasks easier. It’s essential to perform brain exercises to keep the brain healthy and improve memory, focus, and daily functionality for everyone.
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