5 Ways to Exercise Your Mind

By on April 5, 2021

You know exercising your body is important for healthy aging, but did you know for you to exercise your mind might be even more important? In the same way that doctors may recommend strength training to fend off osteoporosis or cardiovascular exercises like walking to prevent heart disease, we need to build up our mind’s “strength” to fight off memory loss and cognitive impairment.

So how do you exercise the mind? Below are five small changes you can make today to improve your cognition.

  1. Switch it Up

Have you been sitting at the same seat at the dinner table for the last 30 years? Or do you follow your morning routine every day without fail? Contrary to popular belief, going through the same routines each day does not help to retain them in your mind. Studies actually show that switching up your daily routine stimulates the cortex and leads to improved memory. Tonight, try eating dinner while sitting in a new seat, or tomorrow morning, eat breakfast before you get dressed. Making little tweaks like these to your routine has the power to make a big difference in the way your brain retains information.

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Want an extra challenge? Try using your non-dominant hand for daily activities like brushing your teeth or eating.

  1. Play Educational Games

Improving your cognition isn’t all fun and games…or maybe it is. The best games to play to increase mental strength are fun and educational – that’s why our favorite is Word Addiction, a new word game for fans of crossword puzzles. Similar to a traditional word game, players of Word Addiction build words on a crossword-style board, but with added twists. Blocks stop your opponent from building a word, while Bridges change the direction of play. And unlike any other game, Word Addiction allows players to use ALL the letters on every turn. Download for free today to start building words and your mental strength.exercise your mind

  1. Make Social Connections

A happy mind is a healthy mind. Research has shown that strong social connections correlate with higher levels of happiness and cognitive functioning in older adults. Connecting with friends and family may be challenging during the pandemic but calling and video chatting is a great way to keep the social connections alive. Another great idea: combine this tip with the one above and play games with your friends from afar. Word Addiction lets players play over the internet, so all you need is a phone and internet connection. You can also message each other and send emojis right in the game.

  1. Learn a New Skill

While tip #1 is all about giving your brain small novelties to focus on, this tip is about learning complex skills over a long period of time. So if you’ve always wanted to learn to play the guitar or to speak Spanish, there is no better time. You’ll be learning a new skill all while keeping your mind sharp. Try building up skills that involve engaging multiple senses at once, like the smell, taste, sight, and sounds experienced through learning to cook. The more sense you engage, the more areas of the brain you are stimulating!

  1. Read

Between the television and computer, the draw to pick up a book is becoming weaker and weaker. But one study found that reading books actually reduced the rate of memory decline by 32 percent! Try pairing this tip with one of the others and join a book club or make it a goal to learn a new word every time to pick up your book. Then, try playing that word in your next game of Word Addiction!

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5 Ways to Exercise Your Mind