While you might know that you need to exercise your body, did you know that it might also be important to exercise your mind? You’ve probably heard the old adage “use it or lose it.” Many researchers do believe that this maxim applies to your brain health.
Exercising the brain to improve memory, focus, or daily functionality is a top priority for many people, especially as they get older. That said, people of all ages can benefit from incorporating a few simple brain exercises into their daily life, which we’ll explore in more detail in this article.
Let’s take a deeper dive into 5 evidence-based exercises that offer the best brain-boosting benefits.
1. Let the music play.
Learn to play a musical instrument or join a choir. Studies show that learning something new and complex over a longer period of time is ideal for the aging mind.
2. Try your hand at cards.
When’s the last time you played a game of cards? Researchers who conducted a study in 2015Trusted Source on mentally stimulating activities for adults, say a quick card game can lead to greater brain volume in several regions of the brain. The same study also found that a game of cards could improve memory and thinking skills.
Try learning one of these tried-and-true card games:
- gin rummy
- crazy eights
3. Teach a new skill to someone else.
One of the best ways to expand your learning is to teach a skill to another person.
After you learn a new skill, you need to practice it. Teaching it to someone else requires you to explain the concept and correct any mistakes you make. For example, learn to swing a golf club, then teach the steps to a friend.
Daily meditation can calm your body, slow your breathing, and reduce stress and anxiety.
But did you know that it may also help fine-tune your memory and increase your brain’s ability to process informationTrusted Source?
Find a quiet spot, close your eyes, and spend five minutes meditating each day.
5. Try Using Your Non-Dominant Hand.
Up next is an interesting brain exercise that one neurobiologist suggests might help “keep your brain alive.”
In his book Keep Your Brain Alive: 83 Neurobic Exercises to Help Prevent Memory Loss and Increase Mental Fitness, neurobiologist Lawrence Katz recommends using your non-dominant hand to strengthen your mind. Because using your opposite hand can be so challenging, it can be a great way to increase brain activity.