Staying fit mentally is as important as maintaining our physical health. It is vital to exercise our brain regularly just like we exercise the rest of our body.
According to studies, physical activity and brain exercise programs help reduce anxiety and depression in individuals. Moreover, such programs also play a key role in enhancing the plasticity of the brain which is its ability to continue to develop and change throughout your life. Due to this unique physical process of brain plasticity, people can grow and develop their mental capacities throughout their lifetime. There are various ways by which you can stimulate your brain to strengthen its functioning and remain fit mentally. Read on…
Solving puzzles: Did you know that brain growth in humans is a continuous process? Even in old age, studies have shown that the brain can rewire itself and grow new neurons or brain cells. Whatever, age-related memory loss occurs is due to the lack of adequate mental stimulation. Stimulating your brain with crossword puzzles or Sudoku helps to improve brain function and prevent any form of cognitive decline. According to Cognitive Rx, such exercises particularly help to improve your left brain function which uses logic, knows facts and is detail oriented. You can even add complexity to such exercises by choosing puzzles with hidden themes.
Strategy games: Games of strategy like card games or board games are regarded as great brain stimulators. This is because they enable a person to think in logical patterns. With advancement of technology, computer or gaming systems also offer a great opportunity to challenge one’s cognitive functions. However, it is imperative to avoid playing the same games at all times. Strategy games should be subjected to frequent alterations in terms of nature of the games and complexity.
Cardiovascular fitness: An effective way to boost your mental fitness is by indulging in cardio trainings. Besides improving your mental health, such form of exercises also prevents the fall of brain cells with age. Hence, cardio workouts are regarded as a great way to prevent age-related memory loss like Alzheimer’s disease.
Neurobic exercises: These exercises involve intentional stimulation of the brain for increased mental fitness and flexibility. Wondering what is so specific about these exercises? For an exercise to be regarded as neurobic, it involves using more than one of your senses at a time for performing an ordinary work. Taking a shower with your eyes closed or using only visual cues while eating are all examples of neurobic training. This also involves breaking routine habits in an unexpected, novel way like taking a new route to work.
Relaxation techniques: The beneficial effects of relaxation techniques for stree relief have been known since a long time. Merely grabbing a few extra hours of sleep is not sufficient to combat stress. You need to activate the natural relaxation process of your body with the help of specific techniques. This involves practicing deep breathing techniques, meditation, visualization, rhythmic exercises and yoga postures. All these fitness modules will enable you to overcome stress when it becomes overwhelming at times.
(Source: Livestrong.com, Learning Rx, Helpguide.org, Influence of Exercise on Mental Health report)