Everyday exercises to boost memory and sharpen the brain
Like any muscle, the brain needs exercise. Without regular stimulation, our memory and cognitive skills can diminish over time, making everyday tasks harder to perform. Alongside a healthy diet and regular physical exercise, there are a number of mental workouts you can do to keep your brain active, improve memory and help prevent dementia.
1. Do a daily crossword
Crosswords are a great way to keep your brain sharp and stimulated. Mental puzzles can help strengthen links between brain cells and develop problem-solving skills. Grab a cup of tea and flip to the puzzle section in your local newspaper, or download one of the thousand puzzle apps on your phone.
2. Learn a new instrument
A recent study by Dr Bernard Ross, a neuroscientist from the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care in Toronto, found that playing music can have a positive change in brain activity. “We saw direct changes in the brain after one session, demonstrating that the action of creating music leads to a strong change in brain activity,” says Dr Ross. As a mental workout, playing an instrument could be beneficial in preventing dementia as it targets your brain in several ways, developing the hearing, motor and perception systems.
3. Test your memory
Simple daily exercises can have a big effect on your memory. Memorising lists is a great way to start. Be it your groceries or things to do, write down a list of items and try memorising them. Set an alarm for an hour later and see how many things you can remember. You can increase stimulation by adding more things to your lists over time.
Interested in more tips? Read our 5 ways of avoiding dementia.