Brain Exercises/2

Well this is the second half of last month’s blog on Brain Exercises. It’s massively important that we continue to exercise our brains, particularly as we begin to age and our cells begin to deplete.

Read books aloud

Take turns reading and listening to a book with your other half, a friend, or a child. If that’s not feasible, alternate reading with listening to audiobooks. This engages the imagination in a different way. One of the earliest demonstrations of brain imaging clearly showed three distinct brain regions lighting up when the same word was read, spoken, or heard.

Take new routes

When routinely commuting, the brain is on autopilot and gets very little stimulation, but taking a route that is unfamiliar, activates the cortex and hippocampus. Bill Gates would take a different route on the way home from work each day, to stimulate his brain. There’s also no need to stick to driving and you can take new routes when walking, biking, or riding public transportation.

Try new things

It’s important to try new things; do the things you’ve never done before. Travel to somewhere you’ve never been. Check out a new recipe. Take on a new hobby that is totally new to you.

Challenge yourself with Mastery

Learning something new stimulates brain activity, but as soon as we master it, the mental benefit stops because the brain becomes more efficient at the activity. The only way to continue to stimulate the brain is to give it new challenges, to come out of our comfort zone. Once you master something, challenge yourself with the next level of difficulty, or learn a related skill.

For this reason, pursuits like learning languages, playing musical instruments, or chess are ideal brain exercises because there is always more to learn.

Do things the hard way

The most obvious way to do things the hard way, is to stop relying on technology. Use your brain instead of your smartphone for basic mental skills like spelling and math. Turn off GPS and learn to read a map and use your sense of direction to find your way around instead.


21 Aug, 2017

4 thoughts on “Brain Exercises/2

  1. I enjoyed reading these suggestions and agree we are all getting lazy as so much of our lives is automated.

    We must make a conscious decision to let our brains do the thinking instead of our cell phones, tablets etc.

    1. Yes, you’re right. We do need to allow our brains to think more. I agree, we have become a lazy nation. The sad thing is we seem to be okay with that.

  2. Yes, that is one thing I definitely need to work on, seeing as I don’t get a lot of mental stimulation right now, considering I mostly deal with someone who thinks I’m an idiot!

    Kind of hard to have an intelligent conversation, with someone who thinks they know everything and that their way is always the right and the only way to do things.

    I’m actually very smart, but have just made a lot of stupid choices that I can’t take back, as much as I would like to. There’s also the factor that there’s a long history of Dementia on both sides of the family, so it doesn’t bode well for when I get to a certain age and may really lose my mind to something beyond my control.

    I already have a lot of memory issues as it is, so I kind of dread what comes next. This tells me that I will have to make the best out of what time I do have left while I still can.

    1. Thanks Randy. Yes I hear you! Self-righteous people will always be self-righteous, but that’s fine you know different. You don’t have to prove to them, you know.

      I tend to work on things so that I don’t get to that point where something happens and I have little to no control. That would be like waiting for it to happen. Sadly, both my parents died through cancer, but I work and continue to work on my life so that I get to change my own ending. You can too.

      We do get to choose how we live our lives, as your parents chose before you. Where conditions are hereditary, I understand it’s slightly more difficult, but we have to do the best for ourselves whilst we’re young enough to make better choices.

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