Our brain plays a very important role in our lives- they help control all functions of the body. Over time with the lack of stimulation, our brain will suffer from atrophy. Yes you heard that right! Atrophy does not just affect our muscles, it affects our brain too. In this day and age, we live a very fixed routine. Why? Because it helps simplifies our lives and restricts on decision-making that we will ponder hard on. We need to incorporate novel and complex activities daily to ensure a healthier and sharper mind.
There are multiple benefits of exercising your brain, including:
- Improved mood
- Improved memory
- Faster reaction timing
- Slows down brain atrophy
- Increased cognitive flexibility
Now, let’s find out more about these 5 activities!Activity #1: Try New Things
Trying out novel experiences help release dopamine, a “motivation” neurotransmitter and it also helps stimulate the creation of new neurons. These neurons are key to transmitting information to other systems in our body such as our nerve cells and muscles. An example of trying out a novel activity could include taking up a new sport when you are a couch potato or learn how to cook a new cuisine. Or you can try picking up a new sport at your nearest community centre! Check out our previous blogpost to know more of the various activities your local community centre has to offer.
Activity #2: Connect with different-minded individuals
Connecting with different-minded individuals opens you up to new perspectives and ideas which you may previously be unaware of. Also, it helps stimulates your thinking and challenge yourself to think of things from another perspective, thus stimulating mental growth. You can challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and join events to increase your exposure to different-minded people. Or, interacting with your friends and family can also broaden your horizon as well.
Activity #3: Get physically active
Exercise is just as beneficial for our brain as it is for our body. According to many research studies, aerobic exercise is found to be the most effective type of workout. This is because it increases a person’s heart rate, thus increasing blood flow to the brain. Our brain is the organ that uses up the most oxygen in our body. Examples of aerobic exercises include swimming, running, hiking and cycling. If you are keen on learning how to hike and need hiking poles to get you started, check out our range of hiking and trekking poles here! We sell a variety of exercise products too such as the Sanctband Exercise Bands so you can check them out here and incorporate them into your workout routines.
Activity #4: Engage in activities that stimulate all 5 senses
The five senses include sight, touch, smell, taste and sound. Waking up to a new smell is one of the easiest task you can start now, and this is done by leaving cooked vanilla beans at your bed side. This helps to enhance your sense of smell the next day. Going to the wet market is also one activity which will utilize all of your five senses as you can look, touch, sniff, and taste the produce.
Activity #5: Brain gym exercises
Consistently engage in brain gym exercises such as sudoku, mathematical calculations, painting and memory test to keep the brain engaged. Such activities encourage users to challenge their mind and think of a solution. In addition, they help to develop your logical thinking and cognitive skills.
Suitable activities for persons with Dementia:
If you are interested in getting a painting or puzzle set for your loved ones with dementia, you can check them out here.
The painting sets come in 4 variants and they are great for those with dementia as the image will appear when water is painted on the surface of the sheets. As the water dries, the image will fade, ready to be used time and again.
As for the puzzle sets, they have been designed to keep minds active, maintain dexterity and on completion and stimulate conversation.
It is never too late to start these brain activities, after all prevention is better than cure. These brain exercises can help offset the risk of getting dementia and prevent memory loss if practiced consistently and your brain can benefit greatly from these simple exercises. You can get a loved one to help you start on this journey if you are feeling unmotivated. Remember, half the battle is won once you start!
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