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15 activites to keep brain fit
 

15 activites to keep brain fit

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15 suggested activities to improve brain health and the science behind it.

15 suggested activities to improve brain health and the science behind it.

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    15 activites to keep brain fit 15 activites to keep brain fit Presentation Transcript

    • Keeping your brain alive
      …activities for brain stimulation and the science behind it
    • 1. Go on a guided tour of a museum or another site of interest
      • Pay attention to the guide!
      • That evening, write out a synopsis of what you saw at the museum.
      Science behind it
      Helpful because it engages in higher levels of brain operation (listening, remembering, thinking), thus stimulating a larger area of the brain.
    • 2. Find a song with lyrics that you enjoy but do not know
      • Listen to the song, and try to concentrate on each word.
      • Begin to copy down the lyrics.
      • Listen as many times as needed until you can sing along with the song
      Science behind it
      Attentive listening helps you to understand, think and remember better. Memorizing words requires focus, which will release a neurotransmitter which enables plasticity and enhances memory.
    • 3. Have a friend watch the same show on TV that you are watching
      • Afterwards, call your friend and discuss what you learned. Compare notes. Extra benefit if you accompany this with a night out with your friend.
      Science behind it
      When you listen attentively and with focus, you are better able to follow regular speech. The anticipation of a fun evening together with your friend will increase a neurotransmitter (dopamine) which enhances learning and improves the mood.
    • 4. Spend some quiet time outdoors
      • Stare straight ahead and concentrate without moving your eyes. Use your peripheral vision.
      • When you are done, record what you saw.
      Science behind it
      Neurotransmitter acetylcholine (essential to focus and memory) decreases with memory loss, and is nearly absent in Alzheimer’s. This type of activity allows for the slow, sustained release of acetylcholine during the memory task.
    • 5. Take up (or go back to) that musical instrument
      • Fantastic workout for your brain!
      Science behind it
      • When you are playing an instrument, you are using many different levels of brain function (listening, motor control, translation of notes on paper to movement and sound on the instrument.
    • 6. Listen to a classical composition as you search for individual instruments
      • Listen for when instruments come in and out
      • This sharpens neural pathway
      • Science behind it
      Listening for distinctions in pitch and timber helps to understand speech better. Doesn’t that violin sound like Aunt Mabel?
    • 7. Do a jigsaw puzzle
      • Make sure it is challenging!
      Science behind it
      Completing a puzzle requires visual guesswork and mental rotating and placement of pieces. It encourages attention shifts between the big picture and the small picture. It is rewarding to complete one.
    • 8. Pick a multi-syllabic word
      • In 5 minutes, write down as many words as you can which are in the letters of the word.
      Science behind it
      This activity challenges the language domain, and will help improve mental speed and fluency. It will help you to operate your brain faster!
    • 9. Categorize
      • Pick a category (gardening, cars, small furry animals)
      • List as many items as you can in that category
      • Come back tomorrow and see if you can add more.
      • Reward yourself if you have earned it!
      Science behind it
      This improves the speed and reliability of your ability to retrieve words. This may help if you sometimes lose words on the tip of your tongue. The reward will trigger the release of dopamine, which makes you feel better.
    • 10. Turn down the volume
      • You will have to concentrate to hear at the lesser volume. When you get used to it, turn it down again!
      Science behind it
      People turn up the music because their listening is “detuned”, or fuzzy. Your goal is to match the volume on the TV with a conversational level.
    • 11. Speak another language
      • Learn a few key words and phrases that can help you carry on a simple conversation in another language.
      Science behind it
      We can learn language at any age. Learning a new language requires that you listen carefully and pay close attention. This improves your own listening skills, as well as stimulates the talking areas of the brain.
    • 12. Play some ball
      • Throw it up or play some catch. Or, for a more complete mental workout, try juggling. Ball handling works the brain’s visual, tactile and hand eye coordination.
      Science behind it
      Research has shown improvements in brain function with people who practice ball skills. Especially useful for the brain are skills that are quick and use multiple senses (listening, vision and touch).
    • 13. Crochet or Knit
      • This does wonders for fine motor control.
      • Challenge yourself to work faster and better
      • Science behind it
      Close attention and fast, effortless performance are excellent activities to control and sustain attention and alertness in the brain. The finished product is also rewarding which releases neurotransmitters into the brain and enhances brain function.
    • 14. Increase the challenge in something you do already
      • Take an activity that you do on your own (crossword puzzles, Sudoku) and begin to take it more seriously. Concentrate, provide effort, see if you can improve.
      Science behind it
      When you take it up a notch, you reengage the brain’s learning mechanism. A good activity requires focus and attention to succeed.
    • 15. Learn to use your other hand
      • Write, brush your teeth, eat. Try to improve your skills and see how well you can improve.
      Science behind it
      This abrupt and newly demanding learning context can dramatically improve brain plasticity. Think of all of the tiny neurons you are training as you try to write with your left hand!
    • Quiz
    • Our neurons send thanks to PositScience for introducing us to their Brain Training Software!