[A collaboration post – all thoughts are my own.]
The brain is the core of your body and is involved in everything we do. When your brain is working properly, it will enable you to perform all your functions smoothly and efficiently. That’s why your brain needs to be cared for too, just like any other part of the body. Brain exercises can help with this.
Exercising the brain to improve memory, focus, or daily functionality is a top priority for many people, especially as they get older. As you know, our brain abilities tend to decline as we grow older. Brain wellness is now right up there with heart health.
If you’re finding yourself forgetting things easily, you need to know you are not helpless when it comes to keeping your brain healthy. There are simple brain exercises you can do at home to boost your brainpower so you can remember more.
Doing certain brain exercises to help boost your memory, concentration, and focus can make daily tasks quicker and easier to do, and keep your brain sharp as you get older. People of all ages can benefit from incorporating a few simple brain exercises into their daily life, which we’ll explore in more detail in this article.
Build your vocabulary
You know, working as a translator doesn’t make me master all English grammar or vocabulary. In fact, I still have a long way to go. Whenever I work on literary documents, I always come across new words that I don’t know the meaning of. That’s what makes the job as a translator so challenging and fun as well. That’s why I keep learning by writing blog posts to improve my grammar and vocabulary.
A rich vocabulary has a way of making you sound smart. Research shows that many more regions of the brain are involved in vocabulary tasks, particularly in areas that are important for visual and auditory processing.
I’ve watched many movies with English subtitles so whenever I meet an unfamiliar word, I write down that and look up the definition. When you learn a new language, keep a notebook with you to write down words you are unfamiliar with and try to use that word 4 to 5 times the next day.
Have fun with a jigsaw puzzle
I recently bought a jigsaw puzzle; a 1,000-piece image of the Cherry Blossom. One of the excellent ways to strengthen your brain is by working on a jigsaw puzzle. Research has shown that doing jigsaw puzzles recruits multiple cognitive abilities. In other words, when putting together a jigsaw puzzle, you have to look at different pieces and figure out where they fit within the larger picture. I just started to work on them and it’s really really fun!
Learn a musical instrument
Do you like playing musical instruments? I’m learning to play the organ and plan to save to buy one this year. Studies show that learning something new and complex over a longer period of time is beneficial for the aging mind. So, if you’re planning to learn an instrument, start now.
Eat a meal using chopsticks
Where I live, in Bali and Indonesia, people usually use a spoon when eating. Traditionally, there are still many who use their hands (of course they have been washed before). I learned to use chopsticks when I watched Japanese movies, maybe when I was in middle school.
Chopsticks will force your brain to pay attention and give your brain a good workout, especially if you have never used them before to eat. At first, it was very difficult because eating using chopsticks is not our culture and habit. So I try using them once a week or more to see how this brain exercise helps me improve my coordination.
Learn a foreign language
I mentioned a lot about learning new foreign languages. According to numerous studies, bilingualism can contribute to better memory and higher levels of creativity. Learning a new language will sharpen and rejuvenate your brain as you stretch your memory to remember more; new words and grammar rules.
Being fluent in more than one language also delays the onset of age-related mental decline and helps you switch more easily between different tasks. A 2012 review of research has overwhelmingly proven the many cognitive benefits of being able to speak more than one language.
The good news is that it’s never too late to reap the rewards of learning a new language. According to researchers, you can boost your memory and improve other mental functions by becoming a student of a new language at any time in your life.
More brain exercises you can do at home:
- learning a new skill – improve your memory function in older adults.
- using all your senses – baking on cooking while you focus on smelling, tasting, seeing, touching, and hearing all at the same time.
- connecting with new people – expose yourself to new ideas, different ways of thinking, or learning to be a more open-minded person.
- playing cards – improve memory and thinking skills.
- painting or knitting – challenge your fine-motor skills to keep your brain active and healthy.