Not just working out: exercises that are good for your brain

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We are often told of the benefits of exercising our physical bodies, to become fitter, stronger, and healthier. However, this isn’t the only part of yourself you should be exercising on the regular. How about giving your brain a workout? There are plenty of brain exercises that can actually make you smarter, improve your memory, and boost your mental wellbeing. Here are just a few of them…

Turn stuff upside down

Want to give your brain a bit of a shakeup? When you look around your house, at your usual things, your “verbal” brain will work out what it is and then move your attention to something else. However, if you want to wake up the right-hand side of your brain, then you may want to flip things around – literally. Turn things like your calendar, family photos or clock upside down in your home or office. This will stimulate the right-hand side of the brain as it tries to make sense of the puzzle in front of it.

Use your other hand to brush your teeth

You may not even be aware of it, but every morning and evening you pick up your toothbrush and brush your teeth with the same hand. It’s your dominant hand, and it becomes instinct to use this when doing everyday tasks, such as brushing your teeth. However, switch things up, and you could see some serious brain benefits. Use your non-dominant hand (and the opposite side of your brain) to pick up your toothbrush, open the tube of toothpaste, and brush your teeth. This can help expand the parts of your brain’s cortex that processes tactile information from your hand.

Close your eyes

Here’s another brain exercise you can do before you’ve even got yourself dressed! The next time you have a shower, do so with your eyes closed. Your brain will have to rely on messages from other parts of your body, such as your hands or your feet, as you navigate a common, everyday task. Of course, you want to make sure you’re careful with this one. Don’t scald yourself by turning on just the hot faucet with your foot!

Ten things

Here is a little game you can play on your own or with others. Pick up an object and try to think of ten alternative things that it could be. As an example, a cup could be a spade, a pen holder, or a plant pot. This is the perfect way to get your brain to think outside of the box and consider alternatives, therefore keeping it strong. It’s also ideal to play in a group, which will reduce social deprivation and improve cognitive abilities.

These are just some of the many brain exercises you can treat your gray mass too if you want to improve your mental dexterity. Next time you feel like a workout, consider if you can get your brain working too. After all, who doesn’t want to feel a bit smarter every now and then?

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