You have to train your brain, like your body, to keep it in shape. Offer him new experiences and keep him healthy. Try these easy brain training exercises to prevent memory loss and sharpen your mind.
The exercises offered by neurobics stimulate the five senses
Training your brain with new experiences that combine the five senses—sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing—as well as the “emotional sense” stimulates connections between different areas of the brain . These experiences cause nerve cells to produce natural brain nutrients that dramatically aid memory and create an environment for stronger cells that are more resistant to the effects of aging.
Neurobics is an amalgamation of various exercises that aim to break the routine, and therefore train the brain. Add these brain exercises, designed by Manning Rubin and neurobiologist Lawrence C. Katz, to your daily routine and see the difference.
Use your non-dominant hand
Studies have shown that using the opposite side of one’s brain can lead to rapid and substantial expansion of the parts of the cortex that control and process tactile information from the hand.
Brain exercise: Brush your teeth with the hand you don’t normally use. Do not forget to open the tube of toothpaste and apply it with the opposite hand to that usually used.
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Take a shower with your eyes closed
Your hands will likely notice various textures of your own body that you don’t “see” and thereby send messages to your brain.
Brain exercise: try to use only your tactile senses (but use common sense to avoid burns or injury). Locate the faucets only by touch and adjust the water temperature the same way. Then wash, shave, and do the same grooming routine as usual, but with your eyes closed.
Change your morning routine
Brain imaging studies prove it: practicing new tasks exercises large areas of the cortex, indicating increased levels of brain activity in many of them. This activity declines when the task becomes routine and automatic.
Brain exercise: get dressed after breakfast, walk the dog on a new route, or change the TV or radio channel. Watching a children’s program can even trick the brain into noticing how fascinating what you take for granted is to children.
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Flip familiar objects upside down
When you look at an object upright, the left side of the brain – which deals with language – quickly deciphers them and diverts your attention. When that same object is upside down, your right brain kicks in and tries to interpret shapes, colors, and faces.
Brain exercise: Flip over photos of your family, your desk clock, or an illustrated calendar.
Change seats at the table
In most households, each person has their own place at the table, but your brain benefits greatly from the new experiences available to it.
Brain Exercise: Switch seats to change your view of the room, have a different person sitting next to you, and change your proximity to the salt and pepper!
Establish new olfactory associations
You probably can’t remember when your association with the intoxicating smell of coffee in the morning dates back. However, by associating a new smell – say citrus vanilla or peppermint – with an activity, you are alerting new neural pathways.
Brain exercise: Keep an extract of your favorite perfume by your bed for a week. Open it and inhale when you wake up, then again after showering and getting dressed.
Open car window
The hippocampus, an area of your brain that processes memories, is particularly involved in associating smells, sounds and sights to build mental maps.
Brain exercise: try to identify smells and sounds on your journey. In a car, opening the windows will help hear more sounds and provide the brain circuits with more raw material to analyze and associate.
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Play with coins
Because our brain regularly relies on visual cues to distinguish between objects, using touch to identify slightly different things increases activation in cortical areas that process tactile information, which strengthens synapses. The latter are the contact regions between two neurons or between a neuron and another cell.
Brain exercise: Place a mug filled with coins in your car’s cup holder. At a red light, try to determine the value of a coin by touch. You can also put coins in your pocket on a walk and try to identify them as you walk.
Forcing your brain to see — and think — beyond appearances will help it stay strong.
Brain exercise: take an ordinary object and name 10 other objects that this one could be. For example, a fly swatter can be a tennis racket, golf club, fan, truncheon, drumstick, fiddle bow, shovel, microphone, baseball bat, or canoe paddle.
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Exploring at the supermarket
Stores are designed to display the most profitable items at eye level. Of course, when shopping, you don’t see the full range of choices available to you.
Brain exercise: Stop in any aisle of your grocery store and look at the shelves, top to bottom. If there’s an item you haven’t seen before, pick it up, read the ingredients, and think about it. You don’t have to buy it, but you’ve already broken your routine and experienced something new.
Have an artistic project
When you create art, it is the non-verbal and emotional parts of the cerebral cortex that are activated and inspire you. They are interested in shapes, colors, and textures, as well as thought processes very different from the logical, linear thought that takes up most of your day.
Brain Exercise: Draw something related to a specific theme like a season, emotion, or recent event.
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Make more social connections
Scientific research has repeatedly proven that social deprivation has serious negative effects on overall cognitive abilities.
Brain Exercise: Thirsty? Buy a drink and pay at the cashier instead of at the vending machine. Need gasoline? Pay the clerk at the counter instead of paying at the pump.
When we read aloud or listen to an e-book, we use very different brain circuits than when we read silently.
Brain exercise: read aloud with your partner or a friend, alternating the roles of reader and listener. It may take a while to complete a book, but you will have the opportunity to spend some quality time together, while training your brain.
Eating unfamiliar foods
Your olfactory system can distinguish millions of smells by activating unique combinations of receptors in your nose. Linked directly to the emotional center of the brain, new smells can evoke unexpected feelings and associations.