5 simple ways to train your brain

Your brain is a thinking organ that learns and grows by interacting with the world through perception and action. So while you might think that your brain is done developing once you’ve entered adulthood, think again. In fact, the human brain is continually able to adapt and rewire itself and can, even in old age, grow new neurons.

Like any other muscle in the human body, the brain needs exercise and training to keep it fighting fit. So if you’re feeling a little slow and sluggish upstairs, here are a few easy ways to train your brain back to good health:

1. Pick a playlist

Memory plays a crucial role in all cognitive activities, including reading, reasoning and mental calculation. Listening to music is not only enjoyable, but by choosing a song you don’t know and memorising its lyrics, you’ll boost your levels of acetylcholine, the chemical that helps build your brain and improve your memory skills. So pick a playlist, and start working out!

2. Re-route your routine

The brain is an organ of habit, which, if allowed to remain complacent, can quickly start painting by numbers and losing its attentiveness. So rather than following the same routine day after day, consider mixing things up – change up your route to work or simply re-organise your desk. By forcing your brain to rewire itself regularly, you’ll force it to wake up and pay attention again. A great way to train your brain.

3. Read regularly

Linguistic exercises are vital when it comes to the maintenance of healthy brain functionality. By challenging  our understanding of vocabulary and grammar we force our brains to learn and grow. So whether you opt to learn a new language, read a book before going to bed or simply consult more than the sports section over your morning coffee, you’ll challenge your brain and ensure it stays on top form.

4. Make decisions

Without even realising it, you use your logic and reasoning skills on a daily basis to make decisions, build up hypotheses and consider the possible consequences of your actions. Activities in which you must define a strategy to reach a desired outcome and calculate the right moves to reach the solution in the shortest possible time make for fantastic brain food, so don’t be afraid of tackling a new task or challenging yourself to solve problems.

5. Include some basic problems in your day

Consider your brain a muscle and find opportunities to flex it. Do crossword puzzles. Play Scrabble. Try fun challenging mental tasks like reading a hard book, or using your other hand for something you typically do such as eating or brushing your teeth.

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