8 Simple Tricks to Exercise Your Brain
Your brain’s fitness depends on how much it is used. Every time you do something new or different, you create new neural pathways. These simple tricks will help give your brain a workout. Some of these activities may be done at or on your way to the Newark Senior Center!
1. Use Your Opposite Hand
Spend the day doing things with your non-dominant hand. If you are left-handed, open doors with your right hand. If you are right-handed, try using your keys with your left. This simple task will cause your brain to lay down new pathways and rethink daily tasks. Wear your watch on the opposite hand to remind you to switch.
2. Only Use Lists as Backup
Lists are great, but we can become too reliant on them. Make your grocery list, but then try to shop without it. Use the list once you have put every item you can think of in your cart. Do the same with your “to do” lists.
3. Prepare One Story Every Day
Each morning think up one story that you will have ready to tell people. The story can be about something recent or from your past. Try to figure out the most entertaining way to tell the story. If someone calls or stops by, you will have something to talk with them about. What better way to exercise your brain than to tell a new story to a friend at NSC?
4. Observation Games
Each day pick a specific thing to observe. You may decide to pay attention to what people are wearing one day. Everywhere you go, and on TV, note how people dress and think about why certain people dress the way they do. Give your brain something to think about. The next day, choose something else to observe.
5. Go a Different Way
Drive or walk a different way to wherever you go. On your way to the Center, change it up a bit. Little changes in routine help the brain practice spatial memory and directions. Try different side streets, go through stores in a different order — anything to change your route.
6. Break the Routine
Do thing in a different order. Eat breakfast for dinner. Do your errands first thing in the morning. Exercise in the morning instead of the afternoon. Do your daily tasks in a new order. Notice how the change feels and what is good or bad about the new order.
7. Solve a Problem
Pretend you are starting a business and think about how you would solve a problem. What would you sell and to whom would you sell it? Who are your competitors and how would you beat them? Give your brain something to chew on. The next day, pretend you are starting an organization to fight hunger — what new ideas can you come up with? Have fun with problem solving to make new connections in the brain.
8. Read a Book
Pick a book on an entirely new subject. Read a novel set in India. Learn about economics. There are many excellent popular non-fiction books that do a great job entertaining you while teaching about a subject. Become an expert in something new each week. Check out the NSC library for a new book!
Simply by trying these easy exercises, you can keep your mind strong!