11 exercises in 11 days: Train your brain in top shape
The next 11 days, we will challenge you with 11 “easy” exercises, one every day, which are based on your everyday habits, but that will force you out of your comfort zone and strengthen the health of your brain.
Your brain must be trained to stay sharp, healthy and sound, and that requires you to challenge it.
- Do you also think it’s a little scary to find your way around without a GPS?
- Drive without automatic transmission, perhaps?
- Nervous about making parallel parking where there is very little space for your car?
- Or are you already getting a little sweaty at the thought of losing track of a supermarket without your shopping list?
- Maybe you have a hard time deviating from your regular route on the way to work?
- And how about solving a crossword puzzle or doing mental arithmetic?
Well here is good news, because there is no reason to scare yourself and get nervous. You don’t need to do difficult tasks that seem impossible to solve or overcome.
It’s time to break out of the comforts and take up the fight against the enduring habits that dull your brain. When you meet a challenge and take it up, you learn new things and train your brain. And the brain, like the rest of your body, needs to stay in shape.
But why is brain training so good for you?
This is because the training forms new connections between the nerve cells – we get completely new nerve cell networks, at the same time as we stabilize and strengthen the nerve cell connections we already have. Often, when we encounter something challenging in our lives, the brain really gets to work hard, and that’s a distinctly good thing.
Here is your easy day by day guide that gets your brain in top shape in 14 days. ENJOY 🙂
Brush your teeth with the “wrong” hand.
You can train fine motor skills in your non-dominant hand, and you can teach yourself to use both hands when solving a task. For example. musicians who use both hands when playing an instrument, get a thicker cerebral cortex and a stronger connection between the brain halves. Here it is the back part of the forehead that sits opposite the hand you are training that is in turn.
Practice on day one with the toothbrush in the “wrong” hand.
You can train to be both right- and left-handed. So did the world-famous artist Leonardo Da Vinci, who painted with both hands, and scientist Nikola Tesla, who wrote with both hands. Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo can also kick with both feet.
Ask and listen.
Today you can drop the standard phrase “How are you?”, Which is almost never answered with anything else than “yes”.
Instead ask what project the colleague, fellow student, lecturer or neighbor is working on, and try to understand what it is all about. Or ask someone about a sport they practice more profoundly, perhaps about its specific rules in competion.
As we increase our understanding of other disciplines, we form new links and new nerve cell networks in the brain and generally increase the brain’s knowledge database.
Buy your groceries in a new place.
If you shop in a different store than usual, then the goods will be organised differently and you will have to concentrate and orient yourself more actively to find what you need. It is not enough just to turn on the autopilot.
By doing this several parts of the cerebral cortex co-operate to help you look for what you need and find your way.
Do a math assignment completely without using a calculator.
The brain has a special area that is used for calculating and it has to be exercised. Nerve cell connections, that are not used, simply disappear or are used for something else.
Avoid using a calculator as often as you can – so better double-check if you have calculated correctly afterwards.
Go to bed an hour earlier.
Everyone knows that sleep is important, but there is nothing as good for the brain as a good night’s continuous sleep. You feel more rested, more alert and get more energy. The function of the brain gets weakened without enough sleep, and it has consequences when we are awake.
Make a weekly menu of three dishes you have never tried before.
Cook something you’ve never made before!
It requires you to be creative and innovative and use the brain – as a bonus you get a variety in your weekly diet. Some believe that creativity primarily resides in the right hemisphere of the brain, but actually the whole brain co-operates when we are creative.
Take another road to work, school, the shopping mall, where you practise sport etc.
By breaking a pattern and adding new routes and locations to your “mental map”, you train your orienting skills. It is attached to the inside of the temporal lobe, especially the hippocampus and the cerebral cortex in that area.
You have also been able to find your way before you got GPS, so dare to drive new roads to work, or get off the bus one stop before or after.
Shopping without a shopping list.
If you shop without a shopping list, you train your memory. You can practice new techniques that can sort out what you want to be better at remembering. When you need to remember the purchases without a list, it is first and foremost the short-term memory at the front of the forehead that you use, but also the hippocampus in the temporal lobe.
Solve a riddle.
Jon’s mother has three children. The first child is named May, the second is named June. What is the name of the third child? Your brain is created for problem-solving, and here the cerebral cortex is central. Solving puzzles is super good for keeping the brain in shape.
Solve language problems.
When you have to spell new words, for instance in crossword puzzles, or trying to spell in word or phrase in a foreign language several areas of your brain need to work together. You need to use both long-term and short-term memory at the same time to position the word or phrase correctly while using the language areas of the brain. Here, large parts of the brain co-operate, but the frontal lobe is particularly important.
Drop the screens in the bedroom.
Leave phones and tablets in the living room. Frequent use of computers and mobile phones in the bedroom disrupts the night’s sleep and you sleep less time, Studies point to the fact that sleep can act as the brain’s caretaker.