How can you exercise your brain?


Quick Answer

Exercise the brain by performing activities that improve memory, attention, language and visual-spatial skills. Many helpful activities can be performed as part of everyday life, such as showering in the dark or reorganizing a work space.

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Full Answer

Memory can be improved through a number of simple practices. Try memorizing the lyrics to an unfamiliar song, which can boost acetylcholine, the chemical that helps build the brain. Put an unfamiliar twist on common activities by showering in the dark or using a toothbrush in the less-dominant hand. These types of actions can build new neural connections between different areas of the brain.

Improve attention by reorganizing the items on a desk or other work space, which prevents the brain from lapsing into habits and forces it to pay closer attention to surroundings. Combining different tasks, such as listening to an audio book while jogging or performing mental math while driving, can also help improve attention.

Exercise the brain's language functions by reading unfamiliar material. Reading different sections of the newspaper can help introduce new words, and studying them in context helps the brain retain their meaning. To exercise visual-spatial skills, try looking around a room and noting the locations of five different items. Leave the room, and try to recall the items' locations. For added exercise, try recalling the items' locations again a couple of hours later.

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