If you’re still feeling sluggish in the aftermath of a frantic festive season, now’s the best time to sharpen your mind and get back on top form. Cognitive training exercises and memory games can help strengthen brain power and enhance your memory.
Forget sudoku and crosswords, read on to discover our top 10 fun and easy brain exercises to improve memory and concentration.
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1. Recall Testing
Recall testing is a simple task that could help to improve your memory. Simply make a list of items or numbers, learn them, then try and recall them after an hour or two. You can make this test more difficult by making the list longer or increasing the complexity of the items on the list, e.g. swapping English names for Latin names.
2. Try Out A New Sport
Try out a new exercise that combines mind and body, such as tennis, badminton or golf. Keeping score as you play will not only help to sharpen your mind, but the exercise will help to keep your body in shape, too!
3. Sleep Exercises
Sleep plays an incredible role in memory and brain function, so getting a good night’s sleep is essential if you want to boost these areas of the brain. Sleep exercises can help you to do just that! Simply lay in a comfortable position, close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing. By focusing on only inhaling and exhaling, you won’t be distracted by other thoughts, thus making it easier to relax and fall asleep.
4. Link Existing Smells To New Activities
If you’re unsure of how to increase brain power and memory, this method will help you do just that. You can alert new neural pathways by associating an existing smell with something new. For example, try smelling chocolate when you wake up to associate this with feeling awake and alert.
5. Play Board Games
Playing a new board game is an easy and fun way to boost brain power! Learning new rules can help to stimulate your thinking and games help to improve hand-eye coordination.
Whilst mindfulness cannot improve brain functioning directly, it is known to help you control stress which can be harmful for the brain. Click here to read our blog post on mindfulness and its benefits.
7. Brain-Training Apps
There are now a multitude of apps on the market to help you train your brain on the go. Apps such as Lumosity and Brain Fitness Pro contain a range of specially designed tasks and memory exercises games to help you enhance different parts of the brain.
8. Ditch The Calculator
Instead of reaching for the calculator the next time you have to do a sum, do it in your head! This is an easy way to stimulate brain activity and keep your brain healthy.
9. Name Different Colours
To improve your focus, try out this simple game. Write the names of colours down in a different colour to the word, for example, write the word ‘green’ in blue. Then, try your hand at saying aloud the colour that the word is written in. This is harder than it sounds as your brain will fight to read the word rather than look at the colour!
10. Have An Opposite Day
To keep your brain on its toes, try doing your everyday tasks the opposite way around. This can be anything from using your non-dominant hand, to getting dressed in a different order.
By following these 10 trusty exercises, you’ll help your brain stay sharp for any challenges that may get thrown your way.