Gyms, sports clubs and personal trainers may be in huge demand thanks to a thirsty appetite for physical fitness in the UK, but many of us who are chasing a healthy lifestyle often forget that our minds also need a workout now and again. Although there isn’t much evidence to show that brain exercises reduce the risk of developing diseases like dementia, it certainly doesn’t hurt to maintain an active mind and improve overall mental well-being.
The good news is that it doesn’t take much to get our brains working, with many daily tasks such as solving problems at work or even having a conversation helping us to to combat mental illness or degradation over time. Here are some additional brain exercise ideas that can be squeezed into the busiest schedules to ensure that you are giving your mind a workout on the go.
Read something other than your Facebook feed
Spending the day with your head buried in social media or online articles may be a step towards engaging your brain, but try expanding your repertoire a little to include something a bit more challenging. Try reading some fiction during your commute to work or during a break, or delve a bit deeper and try to learn about a completely new subject or topic that interests you. Recapping and writing notes on the subject matter you’re reading about will help to improve memory recall and storage, as well as giving you something to talk about with friends and family.
Learn a new language
There’s no excuse for a lack of access to another language, with hundreds of apps, videos, articles and books all over the internet. Forcing your brain to think harder when writing, speaking or listening will go a long way to improving both mental agility and the way you process information. Although sites like Babbel and Rosetta Stone have a cost attached to them, there are plenty of free resources on the internet, leaving no excuses to stop people from trying to learn a new language.
Poker is as much a game of skill as it is a game of luck. The best poker players don’t rely on the cards being in their favour like some casino games, but assess multiple outcomes and use maths and odds to make an informed decision on whether they should bet or not. Players don’t even need to visit a casino or organise a poker night either, with 888poker offering 24 hour access. Their selection of mobile optimised games provide an excellent gaming experience that will challenge players of any level.
You don’t need to be a great artist to use creativity to boost your brain health. Even doodling on a pad has been proven to give us a little mental boost, especially during boring tasks. If you’re not into drawing or painting then why not knit clothing or try cross stitching? Following instructions and learning new skills is basically weightlifting for the brain and helps to give a feel-good factor once the item is finished.
It only takes a few simple tweaks to a daily routine to keep the mind active. Even with the busiest of schedules, a 5 minute break to do something interesting that doesn’t involve work or chores is an easy brain booster and works wonders on post-lunch energy lull!