We all know of the many benefits associated with physical exercise. However, maintaining your overall health goes beyond just engaging in physical activity as you are also required to exercise your brain. Brain exercises bring numerous benefits, with many working to reduce brain disease and enhance your cognitive abilities. That said, here’s what you need to know about the importance of brain exercises.
Boost Your Mental Capacity
Over time, your brain naturally begins to deteriorate. However, this cognitive decline is heavily reduced by practicing brain exercises. By doing so, you will be enhancing the connective tissue between the neurons, and thus, your brain will function better and work faster. This phenomenon is known as neuroplasticity.
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to grow and expand its capacity. However, in order to exploit the benefits of it, you will need to challenge your brain with comprehensive exercises. In return, you will not only improve your memory, but you will also retain neuroplasticity. This can slow the decline of your cognitive function that occurs with aging.
Seeing as the words come in various letter combinations, the endless possibilities make word-related exercises exemplary for aiding your mental capacity. This shows when you are playing word games, especially if you use a word scramble tool, seeing as such tools give you access to a wider vocabulary and help you make sophisticated words from the set of letters you have. As you use more words, your cognitive function will improve, which will boost your mental capacity. Additionally, an NIH study proves that even 10-hour exercises conducted over a year can show noticeable benefits 5 years later.
Naturally, brain exercises will work to challenge your brain. This sets off a natural reaction, where your brain is forced to work harder, which goes to improve your memory capacity. A 2006 study about London taxi drivers reinstates that by showing that their hippocampus is larger than London bus drivers. The theory behind it is that taxi drivers are constantly challenged by the need to navigate through various streets and pass by many landmarks. They are found doing that often, and on-demand, which has grown their hippocampus much more significantly than bus drivers, who just follow a particular route instead.
Postpone Cognitive Decline
Very little can be done to avoid cognitive decline. However, slowing it down, and perhaps postponing it is not out of the question. In fact, brain-stimulating exercises can improve your chances of avoiding them completely or at least postponing them. This applies to diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, which would otherwise have a person slowly suffer through their cognition’s prolonged demise.
This is supported by a controversial 2010 study, which shows that although the disease’s progression is accelerated, people can live free of symptoms for much longer when they regularly perform brain exercises.
How to Improve Brain Exercises
With brain exercise, many things come into play. In order to take advantage of the benefits, you will need to go beyond just finding a good exercise. Here is what you need to know.
Just as with the body, simply choosing a general exercise is not enough. Instead, you will look to focus your efforts on a particular area. This is true for the brain, which will require that you determine your priorities by choosing the area you wish to focus on. It can either be your short-term memory, better focus or learning a new skill. If they change with age or circumstances, then you will need to readjust.
● Physical Health
Your physical health plays a large role in enhancing your brain exercises. However, seeing as the brain is an organ that demands care and attention, it is important to also care for your physical health and lead a healthy lifestyle. This includes getting enough sleep, eating well and managing your stress or anxiety.
● Regular Exercise
In the same way that irregular visits to the gym do not yield noticeable results, sporadic regimens will not either. That said, if you are looking for a significant improvement, then you should look to cover a minimum of 15 hours per exercise, conducted over 8 weeks.
The undeniable importance of brain exercises is only bolstered by the many benefits they bring. However, if you are seeking to boost your mental capacity, improve your memory, or postpone cognitive decline, this will take effort and a lot of hard work. Fortunately, many exercises can be quite enjoyable, like word games. Through regular brain exercise, you will be able to maintain a sharp mind, even as you age. Moreover, you will be able to optimize your brain health and thus ward off the dangers of an ailing mind.