Boost your brain health with 5 exercises
Boosting Your Brain Health
Boost your brain health with our simple exercises. Boosting your brain health is an essential part of maintaining your cognitive abilities, charm, and quick wit.
1. Learning and Brain Health
A Neurology study, first published June 10, 2015, found that learning activities can help slow down symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and maintain quality of life for a longer period of time. Learning about something of interest is fun, and has many benefits for your brain.
In an article by CCSU, the author discusses how learning something new can make your myelin more dense (your brain’s white-matter). The article shows that increased myelin (more dense) stimulates your brain’s neurons, and will create pathways that are neural that let electric impulses move quicker.
Try an Online Course
These days there are plenty of online education options to choose from, but we recommend you only subscribe to trusted providers like Skillshare, Masterclass, or Lynda.
2. Brain Games and Brain Health
According to a 2016 study in International Psychogeriatrics, brain stimulating games can improve critical thinking skills that can diminish over time, like speed, planning, reaction, decision-making, and short-term memory.
In a Health Harvard interview, Dr. Brody-Magid states “Also, your *cognitive* reserve may even help provide resilience against age-related memory loss and dementia,”. This leads Dr. Brody-Magid to believe that brain stimulating games also help your memory by growing your cognitive reserve. Your cognitive reserve is like a savings account that your brain makes a withdrawal from when you need to think quick.
Play a Classic or New Brain Game
There are many great brain games, from newspaper classics like crossword, sudoku, and spot the difference, there are also new science backed digital brain games from companies like peak, luminosity and happy-neuron.
3. Light Exercise and Brain Health
Did you know that light exercise has been proven to relieve stress, increase energy, reduce tiredness, improve sleep, and also reduce cholesterol? A study by the US National Library of Medicine found that regular exercise provides all these mental health benefits and more!
The study also finds that aerobic workouts, like walking, going for a swim, riding a bicycle, gardening, and dancing to your favourite music reduce anxiety and depression. The findings state that the improved mood is a result of the exercise-induced increase in blood circulation to the brain.
Find an Exercise for You
Although exercise has many mental and physical health benefits, it can also be quite dangerous if you do not pick a suitable exercise routine! Avoid heavy exercise while alone, and avoid exercising in areas that may lead to slips or falls. Here are a few safe exercises that you can try in the safety of your home.
- Chair Exercises
- Water Aerobics
- Resistance Bands
- Body Weight
4. Puzzles and Brain Health
A recent study by The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) shows that solving puzzles is not only affordable, but also a motivating cognitive leisure activity. What makes a puzzle special is that it’s a great solo activity that can also be played with others in a group. The study also shows that when puzzles are solved with others it combats the feeling of loneliness.
In a Reader’s Digest interview with Clinical-Neuropsychologist, Susan Vandermorris of Baycrest Health Sciences shares her belief that any kind of puzzle is good for your brain. She puts an emphasis on the stress related benefits of puzzles, stating that while building a puzzle, you are disconnected from your normal thoughts, instead engaged in the task of the puzzle.
Build a Real or Digital Puzzle
Grab an old puzzle off the board game shelf, or head to Amazon to buy some new puzzles. You can also give one of the many digital puzzles a try. Digital puzzles are available online, on Google’s Play store, or in Apple’s App store. Take a look below to get started:
- Amazon Puzzles
- Tetris (online)
- Online – Jigsaw Planet
- Google Play store – Jigsaw Puzzles
- Apple App store – Jigsaw Puzzles
5. Reading and Brain Health
Evidence in a 2016 study from Yale’s school of Public Health shows reading can lead you to enjoying a longer-life. The study found that readers had a 20% reduction in risk of death over 12 years, compared with non-book readers.
A different study from multiple researchers, and published by the US National Library of Medicine used MRI’s to scan the brains of readers and non-readers. The research confirms that improving your reading ability will strengthen your brain’s network of circuits and signals.
Join a Book Club
In the current Covid-19 environment it may not be safe to meet with others for unessential reasons like a book club. But luck for us there are plenty of virtual and online book clubs to choose from! Take a look at some of the book club options below, and find one that you like best.
- Indigo Book Clubs
- Good Reads Book Clubs
- New York Public Library Book Club
- Oprah’s Book Club
- Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club
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