Physical fitness gets plenty of attention, but we tend to forget the importance of mental fitness. Adding mental dexterity exercises to your daily routine will reap benefits through a sharper mind and a healthier body for years to come.
The benefits of these simple exercises are both short-term; improved concentration and memory, and sustained mental clarity under stressful situations, as well as long-term; creation of a “brain reserve” that help protect us against potential diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Undertaking these simple daily exercises will help you slow down, decompress, improve fading memory, and protect against cognitive decline:
- Read as much as you can:
Reading is great basic brain exercise. Keep in mind that the more challenging the text is, the more of a workout your brain will receive.
- Increase your vocabulary:
Learn new words from a word-a-day calendar or dictionary. This exercises the language portion of your brain.
- Turn off the television:
Television tells you what to think and how to think it, basically putting your brain on autopilot. If you want to keep your brain from stagnating, the first thing you have to do is turn off the TV. Opt for educational programs and if you watch popular programs, choose ones with complex plot lines or character interactions.
- Do daily crosswords and puzzles:
Simple puzzles like crosswords can help get your brain doing some basic work and are easy to fit into your day.
- Switch your dominant hand:
Use your left hand if you are right handed, and vice-versa. This will stimulate the parts of your brain that control your muscles.
- Join an interest group:
Join a group or club that piques your interest. Talking with people with similar interests will get you using your brain and your skills.
- Eat well and exercise:
Diet and exercise also actually play a role in the health of your brain. If you want to keep your brain in peak condition, eat a healthy diet rich in protein and omega3 fatty acids to keep your brain physically fed. Physical exercise can also keep your body healthy, reducing the chance of stroke and increasing oxygen saturation levels.
Implementing these simple, everyday tips will allow you to keep your brain and emotional health in tip-top shape.