While you might know the importance of taking a jog, lifting some weight or stretching several times a day is healthy for your body, it is much as important to exercise your mind as well. There have been recent studies that suggest different types of activities which can be beneficial for your brain:
- You are what you eat: This is true for all your body, including your brain. Not smoking, exercising regularly, consuming lots of fruits and vegetables and reducing your alcohol intake are healthy behaviors that reduce the risk for dementia and other cognitive impairment.
- Learn something new: Keep learning new things that will keep your brain active, including learning to play an instrument or engaging in a new language. Studies have shown that those learning new skills do better on memory tests than those who don’t.
- Use your non-dominant hand: To keep your brain active, neurobiologists suggest trying to switch hands when eating dinner or when writing something down.
- Meditation: Mindful meditation is actually very effective when trying to improve attention and focus. A few minutes of meditation a day can help engage in new neural pathways, increasing your mental flexibility.
- Socialize: People who are socially active are at a lower risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s. Even if you’re an introvert, seeking activities such as joining a club, staying in touch with family or volunteering in your local community are some ways to engage socially.
Just like with other parts of your body, you need to make sure you use your brain constantly to keep as healthy as possible.