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Five Activities to Exercise your Brain

Do you ever feel like you aren’t thinking as sharp as you were at one time?  Perhaps you need to flex your brain muscle more often.  You know what they say, “if you don’t use it…you lose it!” Here are five fun and easy brain games that you can play to knock the cobwebs off the ol’ thinking cap.  

 

1.      Rotate between Puzzles

Did you know that interchanging your use of puzzles is the best way to stay challenged?  Whether you like working a crossword puzzle, Sudoku, word search or even a jigsaw puzzle, it is possible to get too good.  There is nothing wrong with being exceptional at something, however, when the challenge is no longer there, you won’t have to push yourself to complete the puzzle. Suddenly, puzzles are more of a hobby and less about brain exercise. If your goal is to keep your brain strengthened, you’ll want to rotate between puzzle types to make sure you are always making the most of your efforts.

 

2.      Name that Object

You’ll need a partner for this one.  Simply grab a few household items and a towel or small blanket.  Put the item under the blanket while out of the view of the other person.  Then, have them handle the object without looking.  See how many everyday items they can identify using only touch.

 

3.      Cross-Body Movements

Find time each day to move your bod yin criss-cross patterns.  Why? Well, when you do cross-body movements, it engages both hemispheres of the brain, making you more likely to retain information and helps you remain more alert.  For example, try touching your right hand to your left foot, your left hand to your right knee or any number of movements that have you reaching across your body in a criss-cross motion.  Just imagine that your body is divided by an imaginary line from your nose down past your waistline.  Now, just focus on crossing that mid-line regularly in your exercise routine.

 

4.      Going on a Trip

This game is best played in a group or with at least one other person.  Someone will start the verbal sequence by saying, “I’m going on a trip to…(name a location) and I’m bringing a (name an item that starts with the same letter).”  For example, if you are going to Australia, you could bring things like an apple, armband and artwork.  But here is the catch, each of these items must fit in a suitcase. Each player takes a turn adding their item to the list making sure to use the same letter for each item.  The first person to stall or get stumped is out and the last person left is declared the winner of that round.  

 

5.      Name that Street

As you drive, name the streets you pass and see how many you can recall.  If your way home has become so familiar that your brain almost goes into auto pilot, take a new route and see if you can accurately name the streets you come across on your new path home.


Bonus tips:  

·        Put away the calculator for less complex math and work the problem on paper or in your head.

·        Find some form of art you enjoy and start creating!

·        Quit using speed dial and try to memorize phone numbers you use frequently

·        When you meet someone new, immediately spell their name in your head.  When you do this, you create a visual for your brain and stand a better chance at remembering their name.

Make daily brain exercise fun!  Get creative and challenge yourself every day!

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