Ten ways to keep your mind sharp

Worried about having “senior moments”? These simple, science-backed exercises can help to boost your brain…

Like the body, the brain benefits from regular exercise, so it’s important to do things daily that keep you mentally stimulated and engaged.

These fun activities have been proven to support cognitive function as we age. Choose a few or try them all – the mind appreciates variety, and you may just discover a new passion!

  1. Play cards – Games such as gin, bridge, poker or rummy encourage quick thinking and memory recall, plus you’re required to pay attention to others. Chess and trivia games are great options too. 
  2. Boost your vocabulary – Reading books is a wonderful way to occupy the brain and grow your vocabulary, especially if you look up words you don’t recognize or understand, and then use them. Crosswords and Scrabble are also fantastic tools.
  3. Build jigsaw puzzles – A seemingly simple activity with so many benefits, building puzzles (big and small) supports thinking, planning, memory, creativity, and hand-eye coordination.
  4. Learn a new skill – From biscuit baking and beer making to painting, paddle boarding, even how to speak a foreign language … learning a new hobby or skill builds new neural pathways in the brain, relieves boredom, improves focus, and boosts mood.
  5. Dance – Learning a dance routine is a great way to improve speed, memory and muscle coordination while having fun. Join a class or teach yourself with YouTube videos – either way, your brain and body will benefit.
  6. Use your five senses – To fully experience anything, we need to engage all five senses, but most people don’t do that – and our memory and learning capabilities suffer. To change this, simply pick a task – cooking dinner, for example – and take note of what you can see, hear, smell, touch and taste. Repeat this regularly with other activities and notice how more present and aware you become…
  7. Listen to or make music – Create a playlist of your favourite music, reconnect with a childhood instrument, or take up music lessons for the first time (you’re never too old). Whatever option you choose, music is food for the soul and your mood and memory will thank you.
  8. Change your routine – The brain favours the familiar, which is why it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut! To combat this, do things differently today: take a new route to the shops, use your non-dominant hand to brush your teeth, wash your hair last instead of first in the shower, vary your breakfast… Simple changes force the brain to take notice and adapt!
  9. Meditate – Spending a few quiet minutes each day is a great way to calm the body and mind, think more clearly and respond more consciously to situations.
  10. Repeat – Repetition is one of the best ways to learn, so if you want to recall something (like a person’s name, telephone number or helpful fact), say it out loud, write it down and repeat.

While exercising your mind is important, remember that good brain health also requires a nutritious diet, plenty of water, regular exercise, and quality sleep.

Related Articles

Check Also
Back to top button