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Exercising your Brain

February 20th, 2012

Good morning and Happy President's Day for my US readers!
This week I would like to talk about the importance of keeping your brain fit and active. As any other part of our body, the brain needs some stimulation to remain healthy.

neurons

Most human beings function based on routine actions performed day in and day out, these actions become so automated that they are done mainly unconsciously which means that our brain is not getting much exercise. Automated or unconscious actions require less activity in the brain.

Neurobics is the term used for brain exercises that can enhance brain performance.
It is presumed that unusual sensory stimulation and activities like non-routine actions and thoughts, produce chemicals that encourage the growth of new dendrites and neurons in the brain. (Wikipedia)

In order for Neurobics (or brain exercises) to be effective they need to:

  1. Involve one or more of your senses in a new context
  2. Involve your full attention, at least briefly
  3. Break your routine in some significant way

These exercises put your brain in a situation where it needs to work a little harder and therefore is challenged in a positive way. You do not need to set time aside for this nor devote much effort to it, by making small changes in your daily routine you can go a long way. Here below are some ideas:

  • If you use a watch, put it in the other wrist every other day
  • Brush your teeth or use your computer mouse with your non-dominant hand
  • Walk backwards for a few steps, you can do it in a park or an open space
  • Get fully dressed with your eyes closed
  • Stimulate your senses with new and different flavors, smells, etc.
  • look at pictures upside down
  • Look at the time in a mirror
  • Take a different way to work

You can be creative and find other ways to exercise your brain, you can play with it everyday and have fun in the process. If you have more time, you can also look into brain/mind games, they can be lots of fun, below are some sites for ideas:

If you want to look more into Neurobics, you may want to check out this book: Keep Your Brain Alive: 83 Neurobic Exercises to Help Prevent Memory Loss and Increase Mental Fitness. To see a more detailed explanation of what makes an exercise neurobic and why click here.

Well, aside from mental activity and engaging our brain a little more, there are 3 other aspects that do influence brain health as well and should not be underestimated:

  • Physical exercise
  • Nutrition, and
  • Stress management

But for now, have fun doing some "neurobics" and thanks for reading ;)
Also, look below for announcements, the 21-day Meditation Challenge starts TODAY, don't miss this great opportunity to get you started on a wonderful practice!!

Have a great week!

Announcements:

* 21 Day Meditation Challenge starts TODAY, a wonderful free resource from the Copra Center.

* The WISH Summit 2012 starts on March 8th. A great display of wisdom for free!

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