“When information goes ‘in one ear and out the other,’ it’s often because it doesn’t have anything to stick to.” — Joshua Foer
We know that exercising your body is important for your health, but cognitive exercises are also important for keeping your mind sharp and preventing memory loss. In addition to consuming a healthy diet, exercising your brain can help to train it and sustain it for the long haul.
You don’t need fancy apps and games to do so either. Exercises to strengthen brain function can be as simple as brushing your teeth with the opposite hand, or driving home on a different route than you normally would. Brain-strengthening activities should offer novelty and challenge. “Almost any silly suggestion can work,” says David Eagleman, PhD, a neuroscientist and adjunct professor of psychology and public mental health and population sciences at the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute at Stanford University in California. “The brain works through associations, (which is why it’s easier to memorize lyrics than it is to try to remember the same words without music), so the more senses you involve, the better.”
Here are some activities you can do to help keep your brain razor-sharp!
Robert Bender, MD, chief of the Geriatric and Memory Center at Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa predicts that preventing brain disease will soon become as imperative as preventing heart disease. “In the coming decade, I predict brain wellness to be right up there with heart health, now that there’s proof that living a brain-healthy lifestyle works!”
Martin, Roger. Forward Thinking, The Knowledge Project. https://fs.blog/2016/11/the-memory-palace/
Melone, Linda. Brain Exercises That Boost Memory. Everyday Health. 2020. https://www.everydayhealth.com/longevity/mental-fitness/brain-exercises-for-memory.aspx