Research is showing that by using your brain, you increase its networks of connections. A brain-healthy lifestyle also emphasizes the importance of overcoming routine and monotony in our daily lives. By approaching daily routines in new ways, you engage new or little used mental pathways.
Since the evidence suggests that mental stimulation enhances brain activity and may help maintain brain health throughout life, it is important to put your brain to work.
Challenging your brain doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be as simple as dialing the phone with your less dominant hand or as complex as learning a new language. Remember, the goal is to give your brain a new experience and a workout each and every day.
Take Action to Challenge Your Brain
- Play games to challenge your mind – chess, word and number puzzles, jigsaws, crosswords and memory games.
- Pursue a new interest such as learning to play a musical instrument, taking a course or going to the theatre.
- Break your routine – take a different route to the store or change the order of your morning routine.
- Involve one or more of your senses in a novel way – write your name with your opposite hand or count out coin change by using your sense of touch.
- Read a book – discuss it with a friend.
- Pursue cultural activities like going to plays, museums, concerts, galleries.
- Keep up hobbies such as sewing, carpentry or take up a new hobby.
- Cross train your brain – try a variety of mental challenges.
Note: Your abilities, health situation and interests should be taken into consideration when choosing brain healthy activities. If you have questions about your own situation, speak to your doctor or health-care provider.