What are the exercises we need to keep the brain trained? How much do these exercises affect our health and the ability of our body to stay young?
It is not a muscle but it must be trained as such and the more it is used, the more it can develop connections and skills that are sometimes surprising. It is our brain, the most mysterious place in our body, of which, today, much is known, but much is still unknown because of its extraordinary complexity.
It has been amply demonstrated that there is a real connection between brain health and aging: since the 1970s, thanks to the introduction of new neuroscience methodologies, the brain has been defined as a plastic organ . The concept defines the fact that we are able to bring about changes in the physical structure of the brain , its cognitive functions and the organization of neurons simply by training it in the right way .
6 daily exercises to train your mind
They won’t make you sweat or lose weight, but these exercises are a real cure-all for improving the activity and responsiveness of your mind, at least according to what the team of scientists of the psychiatry department of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, led by Cinthya Green, who developed the Memory Enhancement Program (ref. Book: Cinthya Green, 30 Days to total Brain Health, Paperback) , a series of activities that train the brain and keep it young, just like a gym session .)
As in fitness, some will seem complex and tiring at first, but as the days go by your mind will acquire the elasticity necessary to work better and more reactively. Why don’t you try now?
- Color colors
Get some colored markers and 15/20 cards; on each card write the name of a color, but using the ink of another color: for example, write “red” with a green marker. Concentrate and try to read them quickly, without falling into the easy trap of associating the color with the name. The great thing about forcing your brain to do things quickly is that you naturally focus more. And concentration makes you use your mental abilities better.
What is your dominant hand? Try writing a few sentences with your other hand every day. Gradually you will become more and more skilled and your handwriting will improve. Similarly, you can try eating, brushing your teeth, or using the mouse with the hand you don’t usually use.
From the classic game with pairs of cards to find to the drawing observed for a few seconds and of which you have to remember as many details as possible, all games that train the memory are great for preventing brain aging . Fun to do as a family, after some time you will be amazed at how much your skills have grown.
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- Play with numbers
Countdown? Elementary, yes, but you can make it more complex by jumping 5 to 5 or 7 to 7 and so on. In the same way you can try to count in all possible ways, inventing formulas to calculate in mind. If you believe that this activity takes too much time, try to memorize series of at least 8/12 digits, your Iban, for example, or the social security number or even the phone numbers of friends. It is an effective and useful exercise at the same time.
- Close your eyes
Try doing small daily activities with your eyes closed and focus on your other senses: from the shower to lunch, from a walk around the house in search of a sweater in the drawer. It’s a great and fun way to train all your brain resources.
- The ways to do it
It’s an old brainstorming game but it always works – take any action, tie your shoes or make your bed, for example, and list at least 20 different ways to do the same thing. Leave logic alone and let your mind travel to unusual or extravagant solutions.
Taking care of yourself is the starting point
To increase efficiency, therefore, it seems that the brain needs to do different things than usual, leaving the “known” and facing something new, unexpected or that forces you to change your point of view.
However, to keep the mind and therefore also the body always young and active, it is good not to forget that exercising, eating properly, resting well and having a good social life are indispensable prerequisites. In other words: take care of yourself . By doing it even with the right lightness, the result, in terms of well-being, is guaranteed.