Fitness in Focus: Brain Gymnastics

  • Use it or lose it. You’ve heard that saying applied to muscle strength and physical ability, but you can also say that about brain power too. Memory, concentration, recall, problem solving, eye-hand coordination, creativity, and other cognitive skills all require a bit of maintenance to be in tip-top shape. Of course, other factors apply such as nutrition and general health when it comes to preventing deterioration of your brain power. Unless you want to lose it, you should do everything in your power to exercise your mind including some brain gymnastics.


    Start playing more games. Jigsaw puzzles require concentration. Cross word puzzles require good memory. Board games and card games exercise your problem solving skills. The more you play, the more your brain cells get a needed workout on something other than work and daily life. Although work and daily life can tax your cognitive skills, these routines don’t scrub off the dusty pathways in the brain that aren’t used quiet so often. Beside, you’ll have more fun playing.

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    Try to learn something new. When you are learning to do something new, don’t you feel a little excitement or exhilaration? The process of discovering and exploring can help to exercise your brain in different ways that you are not already doing. No matter what age you are, you are never too old to learn something new like a new language or a new skill. If you’ve ever wanted to learn to play a musical instrument, now would be a great time to start as part of your brain gymnastics program. Think of something you’ve always wanted to try and go for it. You’ve got the brain power to do it, so use it.


    Make something with your own two hands. Remember how fun it was to sit down with a blank piece of paper in grade school and paint or doodle whatever came to mind using your imagination. That type of free-flowing creativity is a great way to exercise the brain. Unfortunately, so many of us stop creating as we grow older. You don’t have to be fancy or trained in the art skills. You just need a blank piece of paper and your imagination. Or maybe you do want to get fancy and build a model or take a painting class. The point is that your brain needs you to keep creating in order to stay sharp.


    Live strong. Playing, learning and making are all ways to keep your brain strong. But they are also ways to keep you smiling and joyful too. The fun you’ll have doing your brain gymnastics will release all the happy chemicals in your brain that can help you fight addictions, anxiety, depression and loneliness. A well-exercised brain is a healthy, powerful brain. You don’t want to lose that.

Published On: January 04, 2012