Simple Activities That Exercise Your Brain

by Percival J. Meris on August 25, 2009

Reading Is Great Brain Exercise

Reading Is Great Brain Exercise.

WE ARE ALL FAMILIAR WITH BODY EXERCISES AND THEIR BENEFITS. What about brain exercises? Your brain needs exercise too, just like any other muscle in your body. If you exercise it, as well as nourish and rest it, it gets healthier and stronger. If you neglect it, it loses its function and withers away.

This article gives you simple tips about how you can take advantage of everyday activities to exercise your brain. Here are the simple things you can do:

Stimulate Your Brain Before You Get Out of Bed Each Morning

Set your alarm 10 minutes before rising up. Use this extra time to stimulate your brain with any one of the following methods.

    Stretch each part of your body, then wiggle your toes and fingers, paying attention to what you are doing. This will stimulate the nerve endings of your brain.

    Exercise your imagination. Play up your favorite childhood fantasies in your mind. Focus on vivid images, incorporating all your other senses.

    Play classical music. Focus listening to every tune for about 10 minutes. As you become more adept, listen to texture, color, and rhythm. Later, see if you can interpret it in terms of emotional impact on you.

Experience New Things in Your Life

If you have been used to doing a particular routine in your life, do the opposite, for a change. For example, instead of reading your usual romantic novels, pick up a nonfiction book on science or history. Listen to a different type of music, instead of your usual favorites – from rock to classical, for instance. Instead of driving your car, take a cab or bus to work. Instead of watching a movie on DVD, watch a live concert of renowned musical artists.

In doing so, a chemical called dopamine is produced in the brain. It results in the brain’s ability to retain the new experiences in both short-term and long-term memories. The new experiences awaken a dormant part of your brain based on your same old routine. They build up the brain by blazing new neurological paths. “Experience is the food of the brain,” says Bill Watterson, American cartoonist and the author of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes cartoon series.

Reading: A Great Brain Exercise

Reading is a great and simple exercise for the brain. When you read, your mind is stimulated to generate images. (Our mind thinks primarily in terms of images.) Make reading a habit. Read a variety of materials. If you have the opportunity, join or organize a book club where members discuss a common material that was read.

If it is about current events, for example, you can evaluate your own personal opinion on the topic, and exchange it with those of others. Avoid arguments, however, but listen to their sides of the story before finalizing yours. If you listen, you open up your mind to the other aspects of the issue.

Learn New Words and a New Language

In the course of reading, learn unfamiliar words. Use the dictionary to understand them, and add the word to your vocabulary. Knowledge of new words increases your mental capacity to form ideas. Incorporate these words into your everyday conversations and writings.

Other resources for learning new words, as well as exercising your brain, are word games, like crossword puzzle and scrabble.

Also, learn a new language. By doing so, you expose your mind to a great deal of new information that it has not processed before. To do this, buy tapes or take an online course. Learning is expedited if both visual and audio versions are available.

Help Your Kids with Their Homework

If you still have kids who are in school, help them with (but don’t do for them) their homework. It may have been a long time now that you have not attended school. As students, your mind met a lot of academic challenges. But for many, these challenges have stopped after graduation. Helping your kids with their homework forces you to relearn the lessons you took up as a student, or learn new subject matters you never took up in school.

If you are interested in achieving total brain fitness, consider taking the course BrainFit for Life. This course helps you achieve total brain fitness by focusing on developing your cognitive, emotional, and physical intelligences simultaneously. These intelligences are all interrelated. And so, the course gets them to interact to make each other stronger.


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