For a healthy and productive life, the ability to remember and focus is essential. However, this basic human capacity can become weakened by age, stress or illness. Fortunately, there are several brain exercises that can be done every day to help boost memory and focus. These 10 exercises can all help you strengthen your cognitive abilities and keep your mind sharp!
Play With a Jigsaw Puzzle
Working on a jigsaw puzzle is a great way to strengthen your brain. Research has shown that doing jigsaw puzzles uses more than one cognitive skill and protects against the loss of visual-spatial skills that comes with getting older. When putting together a jigsaw puzzle, you have to look at each piece and figure out where it fits in the bigger picture. This can be a great way to stretch your mind and keep it in shape.
Play a Game of Cards
How long has it been since you last played a game of cards? Researchers who looked at mentally stimulating activities for adults say that a quick card game can lead to more brain volume in more than one part of the brain. The same study also found that playing cards can help people remember things and think more clearly.
Try one of these tried-and-true card games:
- Crazy Eights
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Build Your Vocabulary
The more words you know, the easier it is to communicate ideas. But did you know that a quick lesson on new words can also be turned into a fun brain game? Research shows that vocabulary tasks use a lot more parts of the brain, especially areas that are important for processing sight and sound. Try this brain-boosting activity to see if this theory is true:
- When you read, keep a notepad with you.
- Write down a word you don't know, and then look it up.
- The next day, try to use that word five times.
Dance With All Your Heart
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that learning new dance steps can help your brain work faster and remember things better. In other words, get up and dance, and your brain will be grateful.
Do you want to try it? Try out one of these ways to dance:
- Take a class in tap, salsa, or modern dance.
- Watch a fun dance video online that you've always wanted to learn.
- Find someone to dance with and learn to ballroom dance.
- Get your friends together and line dance.
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Use All Your Senses
According to a study, using all of your senses may help make your brain stronger. Try doing things that use all five of your senses at the same time to give your brain and senses a workout. You could bake a batch of cookies, go to a farmer's market, or try a new restaurant while paying attention to what you can smell, touch, taste, see, and hear.
Learn Something New
Learning something new is not only fun and interesting, but it may also help your brain make stronger connections. Research also shows that learning a new skill can help older people remember things better. Have you always wanted to learn how to do something? You might want to learn how to fix your car, use a certain piece of software, or ride a horse. Now you have one more good reason to learn that new skill.
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Teach Someone Else a New Skill
One of the best ways to learn more is to teach someone else how to do something. When you learn something new, you need to use it. If you want to teach it to someone else, you have to explain the idea and fix any mistakes you make. Learn how to swing a golf club, then show a friend how to do it.
Play or Listen to Music
Do you want a simple way to make your mind more creative? Putting on some music could be the answer. A study says that listening to happy music helps people come up with more creative ideas than sitting in silence. So, putting on some music that makes you feel good can help you think of new ideas and make your brain work better. And if you want to learn how to play music, now is a great time to start because your brain can learn new skills at any time.
Go a Different Way
Don't get stuck doing the same things every day. Instead, be open to trying out different ways to do the same things. Choose a different way to get to work each week, like biking or public transportation instead of driving. This simple change can help your brain, and you might be surprised at how easy it is to change the way you think.
Your body can calm down, your breathing can slow down, and stress and anxiety can go away if you meditate every day. But did you know that it may also help you remember things better and make your brain better at processing information? Find somewhere quiet, close your eyes, and meditate for five minutes every day.
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Exercising the Brain
Memory and focus are important skills to practice in our busy lives. Hopefully this blog post has provided insight into how you can exercise your brain and improve your recall abilities. There is absolutely no fool-proof method to becoming a genius overnight but there are simple steps we can take to stay sharp and develop our minds for the long-term. Making the effort to break up our routine, expose ourselves to new activities and environments, and seek out fresh ideas can help boost memory capacity significantly.