The brain is the center of the nervous system and it controls almost every process in your body and your mind. As such, the brain strongly affects mental health and productivity, so you should pay special attention to it on a daily basis.
Studies show that the typical brain comprises about 2% of the body’s total weight, but uses 20% of its total energy and oxygen intake. The message is clear — you need to take care of your brain if you want it to take care of you in return.
There are all sorts of activities you can do to improve cognitive performance, but sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between more and less relevant techniques. My goal is to help you with that, so keep reading to learn the top 10 brain training exercises to boost your intellectual power.
1. Start Running
As a passionate long-distance runner, I just have to open the list with this activity that will impact both your physical and intellectual capabilities. First of all, you should understand that jogging drastically improves your cardio-respiratory system.
On the other hand, researches reveal that running improves aspects of executive function, which is a suite of mental high-level faculties that include the ability to marshal attention, tune out distractions, switch between tasks, and solve problems.
This may sound too complicated, but the bottom line is simple — running helps you to relax, regain mental strength, and go back to everyday duties at full capacity.
2. Change Daily Routine
The second tip is excellent for individuals who don’t want to invest too much effort in brain training exercises. Namely, you can change your daily routine and it will be enough to take your brain out of the autopilot mode.
Jake Gardner, a lifecoach at NSBroker, says the brain reacts positively to the changes in the environment: “For instance, you can drive different routes day after day and prevent your brain from getting used to the same pattern. This simple trick is more than enough to stay alert.”
3. Turn Off Technology
Today, it’s hard to imagine a person not using smartphones, tablets, or laptops. While it gives us incredible communication and learning opportunities, it also makes our brains overloaded because we are constantly receiving information.
The brain can hardly digest so many novelties day after day, so it begins slowing down gradually. What you can do is turn off technology and give the brain some time to process information. Make it a daily habit and try to unplug whenever you have a chance to do it.
4. Switch Hands
This exercise is similar to the routine changing concept. How does it work?
Well, you can start doing things with the non-dominant hand. This forces your brain to change perspectives and think alternatively, which is always a good way to exercise and make it work overtime. The point is to turn things around and give your mind new problems to solve.
5. Learn a New Language
This is one of my favorite tips because it serves multiple purposes. The most important goal is to activate the brain by making it do something brand new and interesting such as learning a foreign language. It is particularly useful if you are studying a completely unknown language such as Chinese or Arabic.
Of course, the benefits do not end there because language learning is also a great tactic to increase your knowledge, gain additional skills, and meet new people through studying.
6. Join Yoga Courses
If you are not really the type of person who enjoys running or serious physical training, perhaps you could take part in yoga classes. Practicing brief sessions of yoga and mindfulness meditation can significantly improve brain function and energy levels, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo. Such training is very easy but it can significantly enhance your cognitive performance both short- and long-term.
7. Play Sudoku
Sudoku is an ancient logical game that combines numbers and puzzles. It’s a perfect solution for adventurous individuals who enjoy playing with numbers. What makes it even more practical is the fact that you can download the Sudoku app and train the brain whenever you have a few minutes to spare or simply when you feel like doing so.
If you just can’t get rid of technology, perhaps you could take it to your advantage and train the brain using mobile apps such as Elevate. This app has been developed as the brain training program that can help you “to improve attention, speaking skills, processing speed, memory, math skills, and more.”
The thing we love about Elevate is its ability to recognize users’ cognitive patterns and customize exercises so as to match the needs of each subject individually. This makes it easy to progress and achieve better results in a shorter time span.
Just like the name suggests, CogniFit enables you to improve your cognitive fitness. The app has the purpose to boost your intellectual performance as well as your memory. The first step is to test your brain through 23 different games. After that, CogniFit will make the evaluation and suggest other challenges you could go through in order to improve your brain power.
10. Happy Neuron
Happy Neuron is a website with a wide range of brain games and challenges. Every exercise has been tested by the real scientists, so the platform guarantees to help you freshen up and energize. Besides that, Happy Neuron personalizes the experience to align it with your cognitive profile in particular.
The brain controls everything, including your moods, behavior, and mental performance. But if you want to achieve the best results intellect-wise, you need to take care of your brain and help it flourish. In this post, I explained to you the top 10 brain training exercises to boost your intellectual power. Feel free to test each solution and choose the one that suits your interests and lifestyle.
Originally published at facilethings.com.