Keeping your mind sharp as you age is going to require some work. Mental exercise is often used to fight dementia and other neurological diseases, but it can also mitigate everyday forgetfulness and help improve your daily focus. And unlike physical exercise, working out your mind is easy to do and doesn’t require an expensive gym membership.
Here are just a few fun activities that will help activate your brain muscles.
If you’re still stuck at home or a bit hesitant to go out, spend afternoon or evening completing a jigsaw puzzle. This exercise is actually recommended for people who suffer from post-concussion syndrome because it activates various mechanisms of the brain, like fine motor skills and memory.
Whether you want to learn a new vocabulary word each day, or challenge yourself to an online matching game, purposefully engaging your memory will make you less forgetful in everyday life. Like a muscle, your short-term memory grows stronger the more your work it. It will only take a week or so before you start seeing results.
Not a jigsaw kind of person? Try a different kind of puzzle, like sudoku! You can find this number game in pretty much any newspaper or magazine. There are also online versions as well as books you can pick up at the supermarket. It’s an easy way to pass time while you’re waiting in the checkout line or when you’re just bored at home.
Draw Something from Memory
Whether you consider yourself an artist or just an occasional doodler, drawing something from memory is a good way to work your short-term memory while applying your fine motor skills. Try sketching a city skyline or a dog’s face without looking at a photo. In addition to exercising your brain, you might end up with a pretty picture.
Use Your Non-Dominant Hand
Breaking your routine is a great way to force your brain to focus. Try using your non-dominant hand when writing notes to yourself. You’ll have to apply extra focus to the task, while training those small, rarely used muscles in your other hand. Who knows, with enough practice you could become ambidextrous!