Our brains are perhaps the only part of our bodies that never go to sleep. Working round the clock and never stopping until we die. Just like any organ in the body, the brain can get stressed-out, fatigued or overworked. Activities we can engage in that will exercise our brains, sharpen our sensory perception, and increase mental fitness are known as brain exercises.
Interestingly, the way the human mind functions, it seems that when engaged in more pleasurable activity, the easier it is to learn, memorize and internalize same. This probably explains why it is a lot easier to recall the lyrics to your favorite song, quotes from your favorite movie, memories from your favorite tour, and lessons from your favorite subjects.
Some research suggest that some brain training activities can offer help and benefits for sufferers of conditions like Alzheimiers. Others say some brain games can improve a person’s intelligence quotient and make them smarter.
BRAIN EXERCISES FOR SHARPER MINDS
Talking about brain exercises, here are fifteen brain boosting exercises you should incorporate into your regular routine, leisure or even work schedule:
Chess is a widely played strategy and mind game that requires a lot of thinking and calculated brain work. Some research suggest that the chess board game does enhance brain activity and overall mental health.
Business leaders and entrepreneurs are said to adopt thinking patterns and strategy from playing chess games into real life business scenarios. It therefore makes a lot of sense to engage in a game of chess if you are looking to get smarter and improve your brain’s health.
Although not a board game like chess, Sudoku is a highly addictive number placement game that relies strongly on memory. The objective of the game is to complete a puzzle of sets of boxes with the numbers 1 to 9 in matching orders without repetition.
The thinking and forecasting required to complete a Sudoku puzzle is said to help improve short-term memory and concentration. Depending on the level of difficulty, the player gets to work the brain to think through fitting the right numbers in the boxes.
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Very similar to crosswords, Sudoku ca be played on paper or online for free, or even be downloaded as a game on mobile devices.
Similar to Sudoku, Crosswords are classic brain exercises that not only accesses knowledge of words but also check memory. It does this by adopting words from different areas of knowledge and a variety of human fields of endeavor.
Crossword puzzles can be found as inlets or at the back of newspapers, inside crossword puzzle books, as well as online as free (or paid) games or downloadable apps.
Just as its name goes, brain trainer is one game that helps to train the brain with its collection of language games, logical reasoning games, math games, memory games and others.
It comes as both a free and pro version on the Google Play store as well as on the Apple iTunes store. Interestingly, users can adjust the settings of the game to suit their experience level and personal goals like problem solving, memory improvement, attention, and agility.
5. BRAIN IT ON!
Another very interesting and creative game with a stretch of brain exercise is the Brain It On! game. The game comes with a number of mind boggling tasks and deceptively challenging puzzles for the brain.
Brain It On! makes you draw shapes to solve challenging physics puzzles thereby testing your brain power and problem solving skills. It available fro free download for Android and iOS on their respective stores.
Designed by neuroscientists, Cognifit Brain Fitness is one brain game that gives users access to a wide variety of fun, well-designed games. Players of the game can track their progress by assessing their cognitive abilities.
It also has a competition mode that enable friends, family and even colleagues to challenge each other. If you’re feeling competitive, you can challenge your friends, too, which is not only fun, but can help Cognifit Brain Fitness is available for free in the iTunes store.
7. BRAIN AGE 2
Brain Age 2 is a brain training and mental fitness system, made specifically for the Nintendo DS system. It comes loaded with a huge number of brain exercise games to hone your concentration, memory, calculation, and other brain skills.
It is a challenging, portable and fun game that engages and excites the mind. Children and young adults are encouraged to play this game to help keep their brain sharp daily, wile tracking progress.
The brain Age 2 game is also available for the Nintendo 3DS as Brain Age: Concentration Training.
8. BRAIN METRIX
Brain Metrix is a free web service that helps you exercise your brain with a wide rand of games assessing concentration, color, IQ, spatial intelligence, memory, and creativity.
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These brain games can help sharpen your brain and cognitive abilities in unusual ways. These games, according to the authors can help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia as they help strengthen the brain’s fitness in ways that can help prevent the condition.
Lumosity is another amazing brain exercising game that offers an ever-expanding set of cognitive and scientific games. These interesting games are designed to improve your working memory and stimulate your brain on a daily basis.
Also, besides improving memory, they also help strengthen your ability to pay attention to the right things, improve concentration, and problem solving. The Lumosity is one of the most popular brain exercise games available played by over 60 million people across the world.
It is available for free download on the iOS Store and Android Play Store.
Quite similar to Lumosity, My Brain Trainer is acclaimed to be an online “brain gym.” Although the game is available on a monthly or annual subscription, it does have a free challenge which you can try.
The My Brain Trainer website is full of games, puzzles, and other challenges designed to improve your mental fitness. The website recommends 10 minutes of brain training twice a day for the best effects. The site also has a basic training program which claims to improve your mental speed.
The publishers of Braingle claim to have the world’s largest collection of brain teasers. This website gives free access to its over 10,000 puzzles, games, and other brain teasers as well as an online community of enthusiasts.
It also offers users an option to create their own puzzles to help exercise their brains.
12. FIT BRAINS
Fit Brains Trainer helps to enhance your memory, focus, and brain speed by giving you access to more than 360 games and puzzles. The Fit Brains app is smartly designed to get more difficult as you improve making the next level always more challenging.
It offers a great way to exercise your brain. Fit Brains Trainer is available for free on the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store.
Another very engaging and interesting tool for enhancing brain activity is Queendom. It is a free website with an extensive collection of highly addictive brain tools such as mind-stretchers, trivia quizzes, and aptitude tests meant to test and exercise one’s brain. Queendom also has thousands of personality tests and surveys.
Clevermind is quite different from all the others, as it is designed specially for people already suffering from Alzheimer’s, Clevermind’s brain training games go beyond merely mental exercise as it features social, medical, and dietary tools to help patients.
All of these features are presented in an easy-to-read interface that also has a digital assistant who speaks in a voice similar to those of Siri or Alexa.
The Clevermind game is available for just $1.99 on the iOS App Store.
Last , but in no way least is the brain fitness program called Dakim. It offers users a set of games and puzzles designed to help you give your brain a comprehensive workout.
The program is loaded with over 100 individual brain exercises and tests designed to improve attention and concentration. The tasks engaged in on this game have been demonstrated to play a role in preventing Alzheimer’s and related symptoms.
Dakim is available for free on their website.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES TO EXERCISE THE BRAIN
Apart from games, puzzles and what not, certain physical activities can also greatly enhance the activity and functionality of your brain. Some of these activities could very well be engaged in both while on leisure or even at work.
Here are some physical activities that can exercise your brain:
- Learn a foreign language: Learning a foreign language can help activate your brain. While listening and engaging in interpretation and translation, your brain is stimulated. Researchers suggest that a rich vocabulary has been linked to a reduced risk for cognitive decline.
- Learn to play music: Another smart way to exercise your brain is by learn to play a musical instrument or joining a choir. Studies show that learning something new and complex over a longer period of time is ideal, especially for the aging mind.
- Calculate math problems in your head: Not everyone likes mathematics, and what’s to bother when there is a calculator! However, it takes a lot of brain power and mental exercise to calculate and solve math problems without calculators, or pen and paper. It even helps if you walk while doing so.
- Learn a new sport: Athletes and sportspeople are known to have a significantly higher IQ than the average population. Scientists encourage that doing an athletic exercise that engages both the mind and body (such as yoga, golf, or tennis) can help boost your brain power.
- Engage in hand-eye coordination enhancing activities: Activities such as driving, knitting, drawing, painting, assembling a puzzle, etc. involve hand-eye coordination. These activities help refine your motor skills and wold make good pastime activities.
- Test your memory: Testing your memory is another way to deliberately train your brain. You can do this by memorizing phone numbers, your favorite websites,your shopping list, or anything else that comes to mind. Try recollecting this information after an hour and see how correctly you can recall. The more challenging and complex the lost of things you try to memorize, the better and more effective the brain exercise.
- Visualize words: Not too many people can think in pictures or visualize easily. Think of words in pictures and try visualizing the spelling of a word in your head. Then try thinking of any other words that begin (or end) with the same two letters. This will help to stimulate your brain.