Fasting, gyming, sports, smoothies, supplements, treatments, yoga… The list of ways to care for and optimise your physical well-being is already never-ending, and constantly being added to. Of course it’s important to exercise your body, but it’s equally essential to exercise your mind.
Research has shown that curiosity and problem solving in younger children, as well as maintained learning throughout adult life can develops new neural connections in your brain, and allows you to protect cognitive functioning as you age.
But how do we get our brain in sweatpants and take it to the mind-gym? Here’s how:
1. Actual Physical Exercise – Okay, we know we just said it was a different kind of exercising, but physical exercise promotes more blood flow to the brain in general, but specifically the hippocampus, the part of the brain that deals with memory.
2. Read The Instructions – Reading instructional text and attempting to revise the information improves retention – worth practising with something that doesn’t matter as much before exams and interviews!
3. Missing Pieces – Whether a physical puzzle (like our Peace by Piece), or a written puzzle such as Sudoku, a crossword, or wordsearch, this kind of focused problem solving enables the brain to become more nimble, and the more difficult the better!
4. Together is Better – Learning activities in social groups encourage discussion, and vocal articulation of our ideas. All of this is another way to build cognitive function, so book that museum tour, join that cookery class, sign up!
5. Relax, Don’t Do It – Excessive stress can damage firing neurons, cause problems with memory retention, and significantly reduce your attention span. Make sure to get ample sleep, enjoy relaxing hobbies, and get meditating.