Despite common belief, your brain is actually not a muscle anatomically, even though it contains a bit of muscle. It is predominantly gray and white matter with cellular structure and function which is considerably different from that of a typical muscle. Regardless, there’s excellent reason for treating the brain like we treat our muscles – the “use it or Lose it” rule applies.
Evidence suggests regular mental training improves brain function and reduces the risk of cognitive decline and related diseases. Mental stimulation or exercise helps the brain grow stronger, sharper, and maintain better ability to finish the countless daily tasks it is responsible for including memory, problem solving and simply paying attention, and of course its role in controlling every aspect of the rest of the body. Here are a few easy ways to exercise your brain every day:
- There is more to just having a good conversation: Aside from the pure joy talking with people brings, it is also great exercise for the brain.
- Reading a good book: Reading a book not only stimulates the brain by forcing it to analyze words, sentence structure and storyline; it also stimulates our imagination because as we read, our brain makes mental images throughout each story.
- Games & Puzzles: Such as crossword puzzles, jigsaw, chess, cryptograms, sudoku that require problem-solving. Faced with a problem, the brain is forced to consider various solutions, whether it be which word to choose, which move to make, the thinking process is a good exercise for your brain.
- Never stop learning: What happens when you stop exercising? Eventually, you lose muscle strength, same is true for your brain. Commit yourself to lifelong learning. Learn a second language, engage in a “word of the day” exercise, join education classes on subjects that interest you; challenge yourself and your brain every day.
Beyond just exercising your brain directly, it is also important to maximize the other factors which contribute to your brain’s health including proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and physical exercise. With a well-rounded approach, and a regular routine you can help keep your brain at its healthiest.
Be Safe & Be Well,