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Giving Your Brain a Daily Workout

Posted by Rachel Thompson on

Interested in keeping your brain strong and healthy? Try these creative ways to give your brain a daily workout! 

Crosswords: Crosswords are great for testing our recall, problem-solving, and reasoning skills. Try mixing up the topic or creator to give your brain a new challenge, and choose what's right for you. Crosswords come in many skill-levels, so start at a moderate difficulty and either try to maintain or improve this level. 

Learning new skills: Learning new skills is one of the ways our brain forms new neural connections! Continuing to engage in new or unfamiliar skills will build and maintain these neural connections, keeping your brain healthy. This can help with maintaining long-term memory and improves attention span while reducing stress. Any skill works, so pick up that instrument you've always wanted to try, learn a new language, test out your photography skills, or pick up a new craft. Learning a new skills for someone with dementia- playing piano

 

Puzzles: Did you know puzzles are good for activating both sides of your brain? Using left-brain logic and right-brain creativity, puzzles keep us alert and expands our creativity. Puzzles can be a great way to increase concentration and visualisation, and studies have shown frequent puzzle activity can improve short-term memory. The best thing about puzzles? They come in practically every theme and can be made for any skill level or attention span. 

 Reading: We might be a bit biased, but we believe reading can give your brain a great workout. Reading can improve mood, behaviour, and memory, and also contributes to higher self-esteem and self-confidence. All it takes is 30 minutes of reading a day, either independently or with a partner! If you're interested in Marlena Books check us out here

A Love that Waited: Marlena books books for people with Alzheimer's and dementia

 

Socialize: Socialization is actually a great way to engage your brain! Due to the unpredictability of conversation, your brain is very engaged when listening and deciding on how to respond. Call a friend or meet in person for a short, engaging conversation while simultaneously providing cognitive stimulation. 

Exercise: While there is no specific machine at the gym that can strengthen your brain, exercise is a great activity that contributes to all around physical and brain health. Exercise can help regulate hormones and blood oxygen levels, and helps with overall cardiac health, all of which are great for your brain! Engaging in walking, cycling, swimming or light aerobics are all great ways to stay fit, workout your brain, and have fun!

Two men walking together for exercise- a great way to work your brain; Marlena Books

Gardening: Gardening is one of the only activities that is good for both your brain and your yard! Gardening is scientifically proven to improve self-esteem, ease depression and reduce negative behaviours. Gardening also gets you active and burns calories and exposes you to Vitamin D- the vitamin that assists in calcium absorption, and prevents osteoporosis in older adults. All it takes is 10-15 minutes outside to get your daily Vitamin D needs, so get outside and work your garden and your brain! 

 Apps: There are a number of popular apps that can provide cognitive stimulation and help you stay engaged. Some apps that challenge working memory and mental agility can help keep neural connections in your brain strong. Apps like Luminosity and Dakim are great choices and can be found in the App or Google Play store. 

iPad use- the Marlena books app

 

Let us know what your favourite way to keep your brain active is below! 

Resources:
https://www.memoryjoggingpuzzles.com/why-jigsaw-puzzles-good-for-the-brain/
https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/gardening-can-help-improve-self-esteem-calm-anger-and-ease-depression-new-study-finds-a6714401.html
 https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/ 

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