Working out is something that everyone knows is good for you. Exercising helps to keep your body in peak shape and even benefits your mental health. But for all those times you’ve worked out your body, how many times have you thought about exercising your brain? Just like the rest of your body, exercising your brain keeps it in peak condition, and helps it to stay sharp, alert and focused. But how do you work out your brain? Here are five great ways to exercise your brain, all of which you can start right away.
Take Up Reading and Set Yourself Goals
One of the best ways to exercise your brain is to start reading, and not just occasionally, but try to aim for at least 15-20 minutes of reading per day. It may seem like a chore at first and hard to fit in, but once it becomes a habit, there’s a good chance it will be something you look forward to. Finding some great books to read will also help to make this exercise more fun.
Wondering what books you should read? You can focus on a particular genre, author, or period or even browse the bestsellers list for ideas. If you don’t want to carry around cumbersome and often heavy paperback and hardcover books, invest in an e-reader and make reading convenient.
Word Puzzles Provide Just the Right Level of Challenge
Here’s a fun way to work out your brain at home or on the go. Word puzzles benefit you in a variety of ways; for example, they can improve your short-term memory, increase your mental speed, reinforce the connections your brain cells make, help with focus and concentration, and even regulate your mood. Even better, there are word puzzles for all ages and skill levels so no one has to feel left out.
If you enjoy word games like word scrambles, Scrabble, and other such games where you need to make words out of random letters, there are even online tools that help you to unscramble what you’ve got. Other word games to check out include word searches, crossword puzzles, Wordle, Word of the Day and so forth.
Meditation Can Offer Surprising Results
Meditation is often something people practice to relax, focus and center themselves but it can also offer another unexpected benefit. Daily meditation can help with processing power in the brain and improve your memory. The best thing about meditation is you don’t need any tools or gear, and just five minutes a day is often enough.
Good Old-Fashioned Jigsaw Puzzles are a Strenuous Workout
Want to take your exercise to the next level? If so, try a jigsaw puzzle as they push the brain. When solving one of these puzzles, you will be working on cognitive and visuospatial cognitive skills. If you’re new to jigsaw puzzles, try starting with a simple one that has a small number of pieces and work your way up. Keep in mind you need a large, clear and flat space to do a jigsaw puzzle so you can spread all the pieces out and see them.
Learn to Play a Musical Instrument – Tap Into Another Area of Your Brain
Want to be sure you’re exercising all areas of your brain? If so, then try learning how to play a musical instrument. This will use your creative brain power. Some fabulous instruments to learn how to play include the guitar, piano or even the drums.
All of these activities, tips and exercises will help you to give your brain the complete workout that it can benefit from now and in the years to come.