Six new ways to exercise your brain

July 6, 2018

As you get older, you may experience some memory loss like momentarily forgetting someone’s name or misplacing your keys. What is unusual–and concerning–is if you’re forgetting close friends or family, getting lost in your neighborhood, or forgetting how to use common objects. Serious changes in memory like these are not a normal part of aging, and should be evaluated by a physician.

There are a number of factors like poor diet, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, or limited social and mental stimulation that contribute to your brain health and memory. Fortunately, there are simple strategies you can adopt now to help your overall brain health.

Eating your veggies, getting a good night’s sleep, and regularly exercising are all important habits for maintaining your physical, cognitive, and emotional health. But, your brain needs exercise too. Trying new things that are challenging and fun can get your brain out of a rut.

Here are six new ideas for exercising your brain:

    1. Play new word, number, and strategy games.

    2. Learn new things like recipes, a foreign language, or musical instrument.

    3. Drive a different route home.

    4. Use your non-dominant hand more, such as for brushing your teeth or when eating.

    5. Read aloud (which engages more of your brain than reading silently).

    6. Socialize with new people.

      Studies have shown that socially active people are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Examples of activities include getting together with family and friends on a regular basis, joining a book club or other type of group, volunteering, or even getting a dog so you can meet people at the dog park. An added benefit from socializing is that it’s also good for your emotional health.

These are just a few of the ways you can take care of your brain and overall self. Have any other ideas for how you keep your brain fit and active? Let us know in the comments!

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