Simple Ways to Activate Your Brain
You don’t have to run a marathon to get your brain in shape. Any exercise that gets your heart pumping will put you on the road to a sharper brain. Walking on a daily basis has been proven to decrease the risks of dementia and to promote the production of chemicals that improve your memory, attention and problem solving abilities.
Here Are 10 Active Ideas to Get You on the Move.
- Walk on a daily basis.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
- Buy a pedometer: 10,000 steps a day is ideal and less than you may think!
- Don’t sit through the commercials-move around.
- Mow the lawn or do some yard work.
- Park a couple of blocks away from your work or the store.
- Get outside and play with your kids.
- Wash the windows or mop to the floor.
- Take a bike ride around your neighborhood.
- Go dancing.
Do Some Lifting
Research shows that older women who lift weights build muscle between the ears as well as on the body. In a 2010 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers found that older women who did an hour or more of strength training every week showed an improvement in their cognitive abilities a year later. The women in the study scored higher on brain processing tests involving planning and executing tasks. For example, they were better able make decisions, resolve conflicts and focus their attention without distraction.
Switch it Up
Each side of your brain controls the opposite side of your body. If you’re like most people, you have a dominant side to your body. Unfortunately, that also means you have ignored the non-dominant side—and essentially neglected one half of your brain! That’s why it’s important to switch activity to your non-dominant side from time to time . If you’re right handed, try writing with your left hand on a regular basis. Do exercises that involve crossing your body’s midline. For example, try touching your knees to your opposite elbows. After all, an ambidextrous brain is a healthier brain.