Our brains are one of the most important parts of our bodies. Other organs are equally important, but the brain is very unique in a way. We know nothing about who we are without it. Sure, with your other organs, you’ll be living and breathing, etc. But as far bodily functions, knowing what’s right from wrong, how to read or solve a math problem? And our overall conscious? Yeah, that’s the brain.
When we can’t remember something, we know to blame our brain for not readily processing what it stores. Sometimes that’s not it's fault, and more so ours. Our brains need to be exercised to stay sharp. If you’re not challenging yourself, and learning new things, how else will your brain retain or learn information you want to store?
A few years ago I was obsessed with a game on my phone, that was supposed to “strengthen” my brain. I don’t know if it really did, but it sure felt like I was giving my braid a good workout, because my earlier low scores improved, and I started getting better at this Tetris-like game that I became addicted to. Luckily, we don’t need to go very far to start strengthening our brains functions.
Below are some at-home activities you can do to strengthen and exercise your brain:
Play Games for Brains
There are a lot of game apps to choose from for every cell phone there is. You'll even find games that are made for brains, and they can actually be some of the best games. Many brain game apps test you on memory, spatial reasoning, logical thinking, and visual. Games like Tetris are some of the most popular when it comes to spatial reasoning, because how else do we know that a horizontal 4-piece block won't fit into vertical 3-piece section? That's our spatial reasoning at work, and exercising our brains here will help it improve when it comes to more difficult examples. Awesome brain games to download are Lumosity and Brain Challenge.
Subsequently, other challenging games like Sudoku, chess, jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, and even solving a Rubik’s cube, are also brain-exercising activities that will strengthen your reasoning and memory. The best part about these types of games is that you can have fun while brain exercising. A lot of these games allow you to think logically, such as how solving a Rubik’s will improve your concentration, allowing your eyes and hands to work in coordination together. Similarly, Sudoku and chess also will help with this, these games make you think before making the next move.
Using your Non-Dominant Hand
This is probably one of the first brain exercises I tried (or so I think). A few years ago I read that brushing your teeth with the hand you don’t use often, is a great exercise to put yourself up to challenge. Being that I’m right-handed and usually brush my teeth with that hand, I had difficulty doing this at first.
Overtime I got a little better and faster, but mentally it felt good trying something new. The exercise here is using your non-dominant hand to perform things you usually wouldn't use it for. This exercise improves tactile information, and this is how our brain and body react with senses. So use your left hand more, such as using it to scroll your phone, pressing buttons, and brushing your teeth.
If you work out daily, then you’re already doing a good job. Fitness can be done anywhere, even at home, and people have been working out at home for the longest. Fitness helps us physically and mentally. Whether you’re running, lifting weights, or on a mechanical fitness machine. Any form of physical fitness activity allows blood flow to the brain and improve new brain cells. Experts have found that running for instance, decreases cognitive decline.
A lot of us may think learning something new will strengthen our brain, and while that’s all good and fun, we should also be re-learning things we have forgotten. Apparently this will help you retain information better. For anyone who thinks their memory needs work, this is something you’d probably be most interested in.
So when you’re at home thinking of something to do, re-read a book you’ve read, and if you still have notes from college, read through those and learn something you used to know. Every time I clean my room and come across an old notebook from college, I read through it and suddenly remember how to do algebra, even though I haven’t studied it in years. So relearn how to play your piano, guitar, how to back flip, or how to Rollerblade again. If you learned it before, it’s already there. You just have to reignite the flame you let die…don’t worry it will still burn.
Catch them! If you’re not getting enough sleep you’re not engaging in a healthy lifestyle and missing out on retaining any memory you want to store. So get some sleep. A lot us millennials, especially any of us in college are lucky if we get six hours. And hell, some us only get three sometimes. This is probably the easiest brain exercising activity, even though we may think we’re not using it, our brains are functioning all the time. So getting adequate sleep time reduces the risk for sleep apnea, will strengthen long-time memory, and your ability to be alert.
Which one of these activities will you be doing to strengthen your brain's functions? Share with us.