15 Ways to Keep Your Brain Healthy
Instead of wishing for a better memory and improved cognitive function, start to do something about it and improve the health of your brain with these tips.
1. Eat some brain food.
Dark chocolate is brain food, so eat a portion of it on a regular basis. Dark chocolate has been shown to increase the dopamine in the brain, thereby improving memory.
2. Write an outline of your last outing.
Go on a guided tour of a park, museum, or other place that you find to be interesting. When you get home, try to write an outline of what you experienced. Be as detailed as possible. This memory activity will train your brain to remember more.
3. Memorize some lyrics.
Listen to a song that you have not previously memorized and try to memorize the lyrics. Play the song over and over until you have successfully memorized all of the words. This will help your brain to listen better and will improve your memory by releasing acetylcholine.
4. Work on your peripheral vision.
Stare right ahead into the distance and try to memorize everything that you see, including what you see in your peripheral vision. After this exercise, make a list of everything that you saw. If possible, stare at the same things again and try to notice anything that you were not previously aware of and add it to your list. This exercise will increase acetylcholine, thereby improving your memory.
5. Pick up a musical instrument.
Lots of people intend to learn to play a musical instrument, but life gets so busy that it is not usually a priority. Now is the time to make learning to play a musical instrument a priority because it will help to strengthen your brain.
6. Put some puzzles together.
Jigsaw puzzles are good for more than a social evening. Jigsaw puzzles that are at least 500 pieces can exercise your brain, improve your cognitive function, and increase the accuracy of your visual judgments.
7. Turn down the volume.
Keep the volume of the radio and television at a conversational level. You may be tempted to raise the volume to make the words easier to hear, but keep the volume down so improve your brain’s ability to interpret sound. Once you are able to make out all of the words that are spoken at this level without any problems, turn the volume down even lower. This exercise will not only help your brain function, but will make you a better conversational listener.
8. Toss a ball.
Keep your brain healthy by challenging your coordination and visual acuity. This task is easily accomplished by tossing a ball and catching it. Once you can do this easily with one ball, add another ball and start to learn to juggle.
9. Be competitive with yourself.
Take an activity that you enjoy to a higher level, such as knitting, putting together jigsaw puzzles, or completing crossword puzzles. Get competitive with yourself to see how quickly you can accomplish the task or how accurately you can work. This will keep your brain constantly in a learning mode.
10. Become ambidextrous.
Start learning to use your non-dominant hand. Be certain that you only perform safe tasks, such as brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand or using the mouse with your non-dominant hand. Do not perform dangerous activities, such as driving or using a steak knife with your non-dominant hand until you are truly ambidextrous.
11. Make fish the new white meat.
Add fatty fish, such as salmon, to your diet. Eat it regularly to obtain enough of the fish oil to improve your brain’s cognitive function.
12. Exercise your body.
If you want to have a healthy brain, you must also have a healthy body. Keeping your body healthy will improve overall circulation, including circulation to your brain. This can help your brain to stay healthy and create new brain cells.
13. Opt to walk on uneven surfaces.
Walking on uneven surfaces challenges your brain’s equilibrium and will improve your balance. Be careful when you first start with this exercise and ensure that you are always taking proper safety precautions.
14. Get adequate sleep.
The body needs rest to repair itself. This is also true of the brain. People that do not sleep enough tend to have trouble with their memory and learning new information, so get a good night of sleep before you start your day to keep your brain at its peak performance.