We are regularly bombarded with reminders about exercising our bodies for good health. But did you know that the brain benefits from exercise too? It’s known as “brain fitness” and you don’t have to step foot into a gym to do it!
Brain fitness uses mental challenges, such as puzzles and brain teasers, to promote new brain cell growth and survival. This can mean improved concentration, better memory, a more focused mind, and a lower risk of age-related memory loss.
There are many ways to reap these awesome benefits while engaging your mind. Read on for some of our top suggestions!
Use a brain training program.
Several online brain fitness programs have recently been developed to give the brain a good workout. These companies work with scientists and cite studies to support the effectiveness of their brain training exercises:
BrainHQ provides science-supported exercises created by neuroscientists and other brain experts. They even call themselves “your personal brain gym.”
The well-known Lumosity program works with both game designers and researchers throughout the world to develop their games. They begin with a Fit Test to see how you compare with other people your age.
Fit Brains by Rosetta Stone is another great resource for fun brain games. Their exercises train you in skills such as problem-solving, language, and mind processing speed.
Play your own puzzles and brain teaser games.
Challenging games, like Sudoku or crosswords, can keep you sharp and help strengthen your mind. Plus, they are fun! Websites like ProProfs Brain Games let you play logic games and do puzzles from anywhere online.
Engage with others.
Speaking with people about important topics can be a great basic workout for the brain. You get to discuss different viewpoints and talk about what you know, which stimulates the mind. Plus, staying social prevents isolation and is just great for your overall wellbeing.
Start a new hobby.
Different parts of the brain are exercised when you teach yourself a new skill or enroll in a new class. Some good ideas include dance, music, or art classes. It’s a fun way to make sure you are always learning!
Turn off the TV.
While entertaining, watching too much television doesn’t allow your mind much room for independent thought. But when you do watch TV, try to focus on programs with complex characters or plots and use your brain to analyze them while you watch. This lets you get involved in the story while your mind stays engaged.
So while you’re eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and heading to the gym regularly, plan to engage in some daily mind activities too. Because no matter your age, a fit body isn’t complete without a fit mind!