We spend a lot of time going to the gym, bulking up our bodies and building muscle. However, how much time do we spend exercising our brain? We should put effort into building stronger neural pathways and connections in our brains. There are five major cognitive functions – memory, attention, language, visual-spatial skills and executive function – that can be boosted on a daily basis. When we challenge, stimulate and put energy, time and effort into exercising all of these areas, we can keep our brain sharp and alert.
Memory plays a key role in all of our brains activities. In order to maintain a good memory, you have to put the effort into training it. To improve your mental calculation, reasoning and reading, you should perform daily exercises that are quick and easy to execute. For example, you could practise try brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand. Research has shown that using the opposite side of your brain can result in rapid and significant expansion of parts of the cortex. In addition, you could also boost your memory by learning some new terms about betting, see a complete glossary here.
In order to perform any task effectively, we need to pay attention. Having a good attention span will allow you to concentrate and focus. One way to boost attention is to switch up your routine. For example, you could take a new route to work or take notes by hand. We could even combine two activities like doing mental mathematics while jogging. In this way, you can force your brain to multi-task and train it to be more efficient.
Learning a new language can help stimulate your brain. With regular practise, you can expand your knowledge of words, improve grammatical skills and exercise your fluency. Why not read a new book that can help expose you to new words? This will help you build language skills and expand your understanding of words in context.
Our world is amazing, colourful and it is all around us. There is so much information to process and visual analysis is necessary if we want to be able to act and interact within our environment. Visual-spatial awareness is a cognitive function that can be exercised and improved. Challenge yourself to take a mental note of a room and then try and recall key objects that were present. You will be pushed to use your memory and also train your brain to be attuned to its surroundings. Having visual-spatial awareness is crucial for our survival. It can help us keep out of danger, avoid obstacles and boost our brains development.
We are always using our brain to make decisions and reason. Social interaction can help improve executive function because it requires us to communicate. Communication requires listening skills, logic, calculation and more. We need to perform these tasks on a daily basis to keep our mental age at its optimal. Good working executive function helps us to plan, coordinate, focus attention and remember instructions.