More movement, better memory! So, try these 7 activities for a sharper brain

Published on: 23 May 2022, 22:24 pm IST

From playing chess to indulging in embroidery - these activities can be great brain exercises to make you sharper and focused.

brain exercise
Chess can be a great way to exercise your brain. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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The brain is a complex organ, controlling thoughts, memory, emotion, touch, motor skills, vision, breathing, temperature, hunger and every process that operates our body. It regulates multiple bodily functions, interprets incoming sensory information, and processes our emotions. It is also the seat of memory, intelligence, and creativity. And so, doing some brain exercises can give you better memory.

Although the brain gets plenty of exercise every day during the waking hours, certain activities may help boost brain function and connectivity. This in turn may help protect the brain from age-related degeneration.

brain health
Work on strengthening your brain. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The brain is always active, even during sleep. However, certain activities can engage the brain in new ways, potentially leading to improvements in memory, cognitive function, or creativity.

Here are a few brain exercises that may help boost memory, cognition, and creativity.

1. Meditation

Meditation usually involves focusing attention in a calm, controlled way. Meditating has multiple benefits for both the brain and the body. Meditation may benefit the brain by slowing brain ageing and increasing the brain’s ability to process information.

2. Visualization

Visualization involves forming a mental image to represent information. The mental image may be in the form of pictures or animated scenes. Those images that give a sense of happiness to be created in the mind. People can practice visualization in their day-to-day lives. For example, before cooking, people can visualize what they are going to cook, and imagine what ingredients they need to keep ready, how the dish is going to look and taste. The key is to imagine the scenes vividly and in as much detail as possible.

crossword for brain
Crosswords and word games can be beneficial for your memory function. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Practicing Crossword puzzles

Crossword puzzles are a popular activity that may stimulate the brain. Some researches show that the crossword puzzles may delay the onset of memory decline in people with preclinical dementia.

4. Playing chess

Research proves that chess and other cognitive leisure activities may lead to improvements in memory, executive functioning, which is the ability to monitor and adapt behaviour in order to meet set goals, information processing speed.

5. Exercising regularly

Regular physical exercise is beneficial for both the brain and the body. Exercise improves the following aspects of brain health:

* Memory
* Cognition
* Motor coordination

brain exercise
Embroidery and even dancing can help you improve your brain health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Dancing

Dance is a form of exercise that may also engage areas of the brain involved in rhythm and balance.

7. Engaging in hobbies

Taking up a new hobby can be mentally stimulating and exercise the brain in new ways. Hobbies that require coordination or dexterity will activate a person’s motor skills. Such hobbies may include:

* Knitting
* Embroidery
* Drawing
* Painting
* Learning a musical instrument

Benefits of brain exercises

Brain exercises can be as simple as actively engaging the brain in everyday tasks. Others are targeted workouts for the brain, specifically designed to enhance memory, cognition, or creativity.

Exercising the brain may help improve brain function and boost connectivity between the different areas. This may help protect the brain from age-related degeneration.

People are likely to differ in terms of the brain exercises they find most enjoyable. It may be a good idea to try a range of brain-training activities at first and to stick with those that provide the most enjoyment or reward.

Dr Bhavani Swaminathan Dr Bhavani Swaminathan

Dr Bhavani Swaminathan, Nutrition and Wellness Coach at GetSetUp

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