These 7 pastimes will make your brain work smarter and faster
Our body is always changing and evolving. At every stage of life, people fight against age as they try to sustain a youthful composure. A healthy diet and exercise play a big part in this, but how we take care of our brains is also vitally crucial. Keeping our brain young is going to keep our memories in tack for longer. It’s going to help us thrive later on in age and it’s going to help us extend our lives overall.
First, you have to develop a love for reading. Reading has evolved over the past decade. No longer is it necessary to hold a physical book in your hands. You can now read books on e-readers, phones and tablets. This makes carrying a book so much easier! Another reason to read is the cost. Kindle books cost a third the price of a printed book. Many libraries, too, have programs that lend you books directly on your e-reader. If you still like the feel of a physical book, no worries. I don’t think libraries are going anywhere soon. Read anything and everything. If the back cover strikes your fancy, look for the book on your e-reader or purchase it. The more knowledge you gain, the stronger your brain is going to be as you grow older.
Another way to energize your brain is to exercise. What type of exercise do you most enjoy? Everyone is different and we each have our limitations. For those that want to build muscle, strength-training might be best. This involves aerobics and lifting weights. Those that want more low-key exercise may try walking a track, rowing on a rowing machine or exercising on an elliptical. Furthermore, those that enjoy the outdoors may consider taking up a sport. Golf, swimming, canoeing and kickboxing are excellent choices. Don’t push your body past its limits, however; learn to listen to your body and give yourself breaks when necessary.
On the same note, meditation and yoga are terrific ways to increase brain power. Both of these methods are also ways to release stress. To meditate, all you generally need is a quiet room. Focus on how you inhale and exhale each breath, trying to breath through your diaphragm. It’s important you have good posture. Sit up straight and make sure your spine is not slouching. Yoga, on the other hand, is a more relaxed way to exercise. This type of exercise focuses on your balance and stability. It involves exercises that bend every part of your body. Try the easy poses first, such as the downward dog, and work up to the more challenging poses. You’ll find that you are less stressed out and that your overall health improves.
Learning a musical instrument may also boost brain power. My niece plays around 12 musical instruments. It’s been scientifically proven that learning even one instrument can improve a person’s cognitive memory. Musicians memorize notes and music. They are more inclined to remember names, dates and facts. Scientists also believe that learning music makes people more likely to be better at solving mathematical equations. The fact is that music can influence other areas of our life. If we’re creative with our music, it’s going to overflow into our other hobbies and when we are happy—our brain releases the happy hormone, serotonin, that boosts brain power even more.
Moreover, learning a new language can help keep your brain youthful. Did you learn Spanish, French or German as a kid? If so, you may pick it up really fast as an adult. Were you bilingual as a kid? Chances are that you remember that language even if you haven’t used it in years. Language is a powerful concept. It’s one of the aspects of how we identify with our world. Learning another language is going to help you advance in your problem solving techniques and help to sharpen your memory. Just don’t forget to use it. If you learn the language—to the point that you’re fluent and then forget all of it—that language is going to slip away.
Furthermore, engage in cumulative learning. This is where you keep learning a concept of which you are passionate. My father, ever since he was in grade school, has loved math. To this day he still works equations. He is nearing 70 years old but his brain is young because he has worked math equations like this for the majority of his life. When you keep learning, your brain gets bigger. It starts to work smarter and faster. Learning helps to sharpen memories and helps you to recall memories from long ago. Never let go of learning because it could save you when you need it the most!
Finally, exercise your mind with brain games. Doctors and scientists say that crosswords are the best to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. Personally I love to work crosswords and Sudoku. Both these games challenge my mind to fill in the blank with the right answer. On my phone I have brain game apps that test my memory with word choice, memory recall and many other techniques. Over time all these methods are going to increase your brain power. Try to do an activity each day. You’ll find that your cognitive skills increase and that you forget less overall. Your brain can work faster and smarter if you give it the tools to succeed.