5 Fun Fall Brain-boosters

This post is by Jesse Langley of www.professionalintern.com.

It’s back-to-school time for students, but even if you’re not in school, you can still find new and exciting ways to keep your brain stimulated.

The concept of lifelong learning isn’t new, but it’s a trend that’s gaining popularity. There are benefits to keeping your brain active: studies have shown that, for older people, staying active after retirement can delay dementia.

But no matter what your age, staying active and challenging your brain can lead to better mental and physical health. Consider trying a few activities this fall to keep yourself intellectually stimulated.

1. Be a bookworm

Reading stimulates the brain

Image copyright Andrey Kiselev - Fotolia.com

Reading is an activity that takes very little effort, but can provide tons of benefits. The trick is finding books that will challenge you, not reading the latest James Patterson novel (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Try revisiting some of those big, classic novels you had to study in college, or find challenging books you’ve always wanted to read.

You can also expand your worldview and read translated books written by authors from other countries. Reading books written by foreign authors can be one of the best ways to get a glimpse into another culture. Time Magazine’s All-Time 100 Novels list is a great resource for finding novels from a diverse pool of authors.

2. Full-body workout

Intellectual stimulation can be physical too: starting a workout plan and learning how to eat well is a good way to keep your body and your brain healthy. It’s been proven that regular workouts improve brain function by improving blood circulation and regenerating brain cells.

A good diet is also a part of building a strong brain: several foods like blueberries, wild salmon, and avocados are packed with vitamins and healthy fats that the brain needs to stay healthy.

3. Make your dreams come true

This is a good time to revisit some of your childhood dreams, but on a perhaps smaller scale.

If you wanted to be a rock star, learn to play an instrument or how to read music. If you wanted to be an international spy (like I did), you can take classes online or at your local community college to learn a new language. People who can read or speak another language are not only better at multitasking, but the onset of dementia is delayed for them as well.

Finding ways to meet some of your personal goals is an ego booster—feeling good about yourself is good for your brain, too.

4. Meditate on a better brain

Meditation is an ancient practice that’s remained a cornerstone of wellness for many Eastern cultures—and that’s because it works. And recent studies suggest that maintaining a regular meditation schedule can help increase gray matter density in the areas of the brain associated with memory and learning.

Meditation can also encourage you to take a little time out of your day to concentrate on yourself. Even if you don’t perform full-fledged Transcendental Meditation, learning a few proper meditation techniques can help clear the mental fog you might suffer at the end of a long day.

5. Get some sleep

This might seem like a no-brainer (pun intended), but sleep is critical to good brain function. Remember that your brain is an organ, and it needs rest and time to regenerate, just like every other part of your body.

The effects of sleep deprivation can range from the annoying to the alarming: people who consistently get less sleep than their bodies need can increase their risk for illnesses like heart disease, stroke and obesity. This activity doesn’t require much effort from you, other than getting to bed at a decent time each night, but the benefits will boost your brain’s ability to work properly.

As the weather turns chilly, it’s tempting to bundle up and stay inside. But learning new things, trying new activities, and paying attention to your body-brain connection can help keep you and your brain at their best.

Jesse Langley lives near Chicago. He divides his time among work, writing and family life. He has a keen interest in blogging and social media and is an advocate for online training. He also writes for www.professionalintern.com.

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Comments

  1. Meditation and working out are the most helpful for me.

    I’ve been doing Karate and this works on both of these at the same time. Nothing works on my mental discipline more than that! Great advice here 🙂

  2. Great tips….

    On point 1..Being a bookworm is definitely good for you. You have to form a habit of reading consistently. It is almost like exercising the body (to keep the mind growing you have to exercise it everyday)…People should read literature by authors such as Mark Twain since these kind of authors understand life at a very deep level…fiction mixed with non-fiction is always great..

    On point 4..Meditation is amazing for the mind and body..It makes you more present and aware..When you meditate, over time your mind will not get in a habit of getting into unconscious thinking patterns..

    Thanks for sharing..

    Cheers,
    Nabil

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