5 brain exercises to help boost brain power

11th September 2020 / Health

5 brain exercises to help boost brain power

Emily Shannon

You might be familiar with the nutrients that can help to keep your brain in good working order, but there are a few other things that we can do regularly to help support brain health. Studies show that brain ‘exercises’ may just be the key! 


You may have heard the term, brain plasticity. The plasticity of the brain is what allows it to adapt and change, even as you grow older. As you learn new things, you can create and strengthen neural pathways and networks. This helps make your brain stronger, but it can also help make it more flexible and adaptable to changes and environments. Typically it was believed that as we age, brain plasticity decreases. This is where brain exercises come in! The phrase ‘use it or lose it’ couldn’t be more true when it comes to keeping your brain strong. You can look at training your brain as you might for a running or cycling event…


Although this is still a widely researched area, with more and more evidence continuing to emerge, the science behind training for your brain really stacks up. 

Training your brain


Before we go into the ‘brain games’ let’s talk about what ‘brain training’ actually is, and WHY it’s so good. So, brain training is a program of regular activities with the primary aim to maintain or improve a person’s cognitive abilities. Brain training encourages neuroplasticity through mental stimulation, essentially working the brain, completing activities that may be mentally challenging that you’ve not completed before. Neuroplasticity is the brain's dynamic ability to change and adapt to different situations. Studies show that brain training can help to improve memory, reduce cognitive decline and even increase brain processing speed. Sounds good right? 

 

How to train your brain

Do puzzles

Doing puzzles is a great way to train your brain! Doing tricky puzzles helps to engage the brain, stimulating cognitive activity. When we use the different parts of our brain, new neural connections begin to form - it’s this process that helps to keep the mind sharp! Why not give a 100 piece puzzle a go and see how you get on!

 

Play memory games

Playing memory games helps to keep our cognitive processing speed sharp, whilst also boosting reaction times as you may have to think on the spot. Taking up memory games is a great workout for the brain, helping to improve short-term memory and improve decision making skills. You can help lots of memory games online, or get the whole family involved and purchase a memory-boosting board game!

 

Learn something new

In a similar way that puzzles are brilliant for boosting brain power, learning a new skill also supports long-term cognition. By learning a new skill, for example taking up a new language or learning to play a musical instrument, new neurons are stimulated within the brain. This, in turn, stimulates the production of new neural pathways, and allows the electrical transmission to speed up. Boosting cognitive performance and giving the brain a good workout! 

 

Use your senses

Often we can take our full range of senses for advantage. However, using your senses in a different way can really help to boost brain function. You really can do anything that uses your senses in a different way, for example playing music out loud and guessing the name of the song. Add variety into your diet to give your brain a taste of different foods and use your sense of touch to pay attention to how things feel. Using the senses can help to preserve memory function and once again, boost brain power!

 

Practice your favourite hobby

Practicing your favourite hobby has a similar impact on the brain as learning a new skill. Simply practising your favourite hobby, whether that be your favourite sport, or driving a car helps to strengthen the neural pathways that were created. Strengthening these pathways helps to keep your brain sharp and preserve long-term memory. 


Want to learn more about boosting your brain power? Don’t forget to download our latest eBook which delves into everything you need to know about brain health! We cover the structure of the brain, how our brain makes us unique, plus the best ways to nourish your brain to safeguard it for future years as well as some DELICIOUS recipes! We’ve got expert content from Nutritional Therapist Libby Limon so it’s one not to be missed. You can download yours here.