Exercise Your Mind

We’re still early into the new year – a great time to build new habits. You might have set exercise goals for your body, but what about your mind? This month we’ll give you tips and tricks on strengthening your body’s most important muscle: your brain. Studies show exercising your brain can lead to less stress, better memory recall, mood boost, and increased motivation and focus.

Change Your Routine

Switching up how you normally do things challenges your brain, giving it a workout. And you could find you like the new way of doing things!

  • Use your non-dominant hand.

    Switching hands to do basic activities such as eating and brushing your teeth sounds simple, but it can be hard at first. Changing this up actually results in increased brain activity.

  • Look at things upside down.

    Turn your watch upside down. This makes your brain think harder every time you look at it. Same with your phone – try looking at it upside down to make your brain work a little more.

  • Read out loud.

    Reading out loud or even listening to an audiobook stimulates your brain differently than reading silently. Brain imaging shows that the brain lights up in different regions when the same word is either read, spoken, or heard.

  • Take a new route to work.

    When you drive the same path every day, your brain turns on autopilot and isn’t very stimulated. Driving a new way activates your cortex and hippocampus.

Come back next week for the next challenge!

We’re still early into the new year – a great time to build new habits. You might have set exercise goals for your body, but what about your mind? This month we’ll give you tips and tricks on strengthening your body’s most important muscle: your brain. Studies show exercising your brain can lead to less stress, better memory recall, mood boost, and increased motivation and focus.

Technology is great – it makes our day-to-day lives easier. But it’s easy to become dependent on it. This week, give your brain a break with these technology-free activities.

  • Monitor your screen time.

    In your phone’s settings, you can see how much time per day you’re spending on each app and how much you use it total. It’s likely a lot more than you think. Try and limit your phone time to one hour one day this week – you’ll be surprised what you notice around you!

  • Turn off your GPS.

    Driving somewhere new? Go old school and use a map. Your brain will be stimulated discovering the route instead of passively listening to Siri give each step. London cab drivers memorize over 25,000 streets to do their jobs, and research shows they tend to have a significantly larger than normal hippocampus, the brain’s memory center.

  • Head outside.

    Going out into nature, and especially exercising outdoors, increases vitality and pleasure, while lowering tension, depression and fatigue. Even walking for a short period outside can benefit your mind and body. No screens allowed!

Come back next week for the next challenge!

We’re still early into the new year – a great time to build new habits. You might have set exercise goals for your body, but what about your mind? This month we’ll give you tips and tricks on strengthening your body’s most important muscle: your brain. Studies show exercising your brain can lead to less stress, better memory recall, mood boost, and increased motivation and focus.

Your body and mind are inextricably linked – exercising one helps the other. This week, focus on both.

  • Meditation.In your phone’s settings, you can see how much time per day you’re spending on each app and how much you use it total. It’s likely a lot more than you think. Try and limit your phone time to one hour one day this week – you’ll be surprised what you notice around you!
  • Turn off your GPS.Driving somewhere new? Go old school and use a map. Your brain will be stimulated discovering the route instead of passively listening to Siri give each step. London cab drivers memorize over 25,000 streets to do their jobs, and research shows they tend to have a significantly larger than normal hippocampus, the brain’s memory center.
  • Head outside.Going out into nature, and especially exercising outdoors, increases vitality and pleasure, while lowering tension, depression and fatigue. Even walking for a short period outside can benefit your mind and body. No screens allowed!
  • Meditation.

    Practicing meditation allows your mind and body to be still and peaceful – which can be difficult when we think an average of 60,000 thoughts per day. Taking time to meditate can reduce stress, improve memory and mood, and even help reverse brain atrophy.

  • Physical exercise.

    Physical exercise isn’t just good for your body – it helps your brain too. Staying active improves circulation to the brain and increases chemicals like serotonin and dopamine that make you happier. Exercise also helps improve brain plasticity, the brain’s ability to grow throughout your lifetime. One study even found that physical exercise raised IQ in young healthy men.

Come back next week for the next challenge!

We’re still early into the new year – a great time to build new habits. You might have set exercise goals for your body, but what about your mind? This month we’ll give you tips and tricks on strengthening your body’s most important muscle: your brain. Studies show exercising your brain can lead to less stress, better memory recall, mood boost, and increased motivation and focus.

Creativity stretches your mind and fulfills it. This week, take time to express your creative side and try something new.

  • Make time for a hobby.

    Do you already have a hobby you love? Set aside some extra time this week to devote to it. Working on a hobby focuses your brain similarly to meditation. Looking for a new hobby? Try out cooking, knitting, hiking or gardening. Think about what interests you – there’s likely a hobby that ties into it.

  • Learn something new.

    It’s never too late in life to learn a new skill. Interested in music? You can take piano lessons online, even using a virtual keyboard. Online courses on any topic you desire are easy to access online, and TED Talks can be found on YouTube to increase your knowledge.

  • Explore your area.

    Visit your local art museum and get inspired. When was the last time you visited your local library? Check out your next book in person instead of buying it online. Try out a new restaurant. Expanding your horizons can help break your brain out of its normal routine.

Thanks for working out your brain with us this month! Keep up your new habits for the rest of the year – your mind will thank you too.

Content by Lockton Dunning Benefits with info from https://bebrainfit.com/brain-exercises/