Our bodies decline as we age, but we can lessen that decline by staying physically active, both through physical exercise and aiming to avoid a sedentary lifestyle.
The brain is a part of your body, and physical activity can help this body part as well. But you may be able to improve your brain through mental workouts as well. Here are some strategies for keeping your brain in shape:
Games and puzzles
Crossword puzzles and logic puzzles such as Sudoku are good ways to give your brain a workout.Â Becoming engrossed in a puzzle encourages concentration and focus. Instead of passively looking at a screen, your mind is engaged, trying to figure something out. If you donâ??t like crosswords and are not into Sudoku, there are plenty of online games you can try.
You can also add a social element to computer brain games by playing online chess or Scrabble with friends.Â Playing different opponents will vary your brainâ??s workout, since each opponent will have a different style of play.Â If you are playing in an environment in which players are rated, you can measure your progress through your rating.
Vary your routine
Itâ??s easy to fall into a rut. You take the same route to and from work. You go to the same place for lunch and get the same thing. Some things become so much a part of your routine that you donâ??t always remember having done them. Itâ??s as if you turned off your brain and are doing them without thinking.
Well, if you sometimes feel as if youâ??ve turned off your brain, it is time to turn your brain back on. Take a different route to work. Try something new for lunch. Shake up your routine.
Learn something new
School may be a distant memory, but itâ??s never too late to learn a new subject. A growing number of universities offer free courses online in a wide range of subjects.Â Even if you have a job that requires you to keep learning new things, studying something on your own can exercise your mind in a whole new direction.
You can also learn a new skill, such as photography or gourmet cooking.
Teach someone something
Even if you think you know something inside and out, you can still give your brain a workout by explaining it to somebody else. Â Something that may be second nature to you becomes something that requires you to think, since the person you are teaching will see things in a different way. Â In order to communicate the meaning of something, you will probably need to deepen your understanding of the subject, and end up teaching yourself something new as well.