The brain is the organ in our body which allows us to think and interact with the environment; through perception and cognition.
Our brain constantly builds neurons while learning from the new challenges we face each day.
Just like the physical body, our brain also needs to be exercised, if it is to perform at its best.
It is very important to perform tasks that challenge your brain. This helps in building intellect, co-ordination, physical agility, enhanced memory and advanced cognitive behaviors.
Why Do We Need to Exercise Our Brain?
• The brain feeds on mental exercises. It needs stimulation and therapy.
• When the brain is challenged, it can develop new skills and new areas of specialization.
• It keeps the production of neurons in a healthy state. This protects the declining trend of the brain.
• Exercises help in protecting the brain against various disorders like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia.
• Exercising the brain can lead to better memory, sharper reflexes, better cognitive learning, good motor skills and stability.
• Research shows; brain exercises can cure the problems of depression and anxiety.
• It helps in improving sustainable levels of concentration.
• Exercising can lead to a modification of the genes. The earlier inactive genes start becoming active and start playing roles in the structuring process.
• Better blood circulation and high oxygen levels of the brain are seen after doing regular brain workouts.
A Healthy Brain
A healthy brain is not just a result of regular brain workouts, as the following factors should also be kept in mind:
• A balanced diet must be taken; including a variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, dairy and healthy oils.
• Have a diet rich in vitamins and minerals. The brain also needs a constant supply of glucose and carbohydrate rich foods. Skipping meals can lead to a dipping of the body’s sugar levels, with breakfast the most important meal of the day.
• Drink plenty of water for healthy functioning of the brain. Dehydration can affect both the brains and body’s performance.
• Try for a minimum of eight hours of sleep each night to let brain fully recharge itself. During the phase of deep sleep, our brain enters a repairing process.
• Physical exercise is as important as mental exercises. Visit the gym or walk in a park … engage in some workout session. Physical exercises improve the cardiac health and produce dopamine and serotonin.
• Keep a check on your alcohol and caffeine intake. Prolonged use can affect the brain’s alertness and performance.
• Keep a check on your stress levels; as increases stress can damage the brain. Stress can affect the nerve cells required to maintain healthy brain abilities. Stress can also lead to syndromes like depression and anxiety.
Ten Exercises for Our Brain
1. Remember things rather than writing them: If you are making any type of list, before going to a supermarket or workig through chores, try to memorize it. Just keep the list as a back-up, but try to learn everything on the list. This will improve the memory function of the brain.
2. Travel via different routes: Whether you are driving or walking, chose a different route on occasion even if you’re going to the same place. Try new streets, new stores and new directions. This will improve the memory function as well as adaptive learning.
3. Play new challenging games: Solve puzzles like crosswords, Sudoku or chess. Play Scrabble with family and friends. Try different problem solving games and memory games. Your brain will learn new things and become healthy and strong. It will lead to better reasoning and memory.
4. Read positive books: Reading is a very healthy habit. One must read new and different kinds of books on various subjects like politics, fiction, real life stories and health magazines. Books are a commendable source of knowledge and help in diversifying the brain. Our brain can work endlessly to grasp knowledge.
5. Pursue a hobby: Ensure you allocate some time to your hobbies and passions. Some people like singing or playing an instrument, others like dancing or theatre. One must have a fruitful hobby which challenges the brain to learn something new every day. The brain can learn new things very fast if they are pursued with a will to learn. You can also learn a new language.
6. Do mental calculations: Limit the use of calculators and computers for doing calculations. Try to do the calculations mentally. This improves the analytical brain functioning part and makes it spontaneous and sharp.
7. Regulate hand functioning: Try to switch tasks between your hands. If you are a right handed person, try to perform your chores with the left hand; like brushing your teeth, carrying a bag, using keys or holding a cup, etc. This will stimulate the other side of the brain, establishing a better connection between the two hemispheres.
8. Expand your vocabulary: Promise yourself to memorize a new word daily. This will improve the vocabulary as well as develop better memory. This will also generate high quality content in your conversations providing you with mental satisfaction and pride.
9. Meditate often: Meditation has extremely beneficial effects on the brain. It relaxes the brain and the body followed by detachment. It gives ultimate power to the brain and brings a high degree of control over the brain and body. Meditation is like food for mind and has therapeutic properties.
10. Think positive and de-stress: Deliberately thinking positive can do wonders to the human brain. We feel happy, content and peaceful. Read positive quotes and keep your company with positive people. This will help in harvesting your energy and dedicating it to generate useful and bright ideas. De-stress your brain completely and relax as it will make you more radiant and productive and people will love your company. This will improve your status and make you popular.