been said that "a strong mind can move mountains." What a powerful statement
about the capacity of our thinking – and the importance of brain health. As one
of the most essential organs in our body, our brain controls how we think, how
we speak, how we move, and how we approach our circumstances. Brain health is also
essential for living a long and full life. According to the Alzheimer's
Association, staying mentally active can help increase our vitality. Who doesn't want that?
all of this in mind, it's essential to nurture our brain and promote
intellectual wellness. One way to do this is by integrating mental fitness into
our daily routines.
What is Mental Fitness?
Mental fitness means keeping our
brain and emotional health in tip-top shape. It's just as important to our overall
wellbeing as physical fitness, especially for seniors. There are many forms of
. Some exercises are more active, such as learning a new
skill or playing a board game. Others are more restful and involve relaxation
All in all, these exercises involve
being curious, expanding
our knowledge, stimulating our creativity, and ultimately caring for ourselves.
So, let's get busy. Try a few right now!
Mental Fitness Exercises
Do one thing at a time. There's
a common myth that multi-tasking is highly productive and trains our minds to
think quickly. The
truth is, our error rate increases by 50 percent, and it takes twice as long to
do things when we try to focus our attention on more than one thing at a time. So,
it's better to slow down and take one task at a time. Do this today, and you'll
be on your way to improving your concentration and becoming more productive.
Think positive. Positive affirmation is a wonderful way
to increase our mental proficiency. Affirmation, which simply means talking to
ourselves positively, involves
strengthening neural pathways to bring self-confidence, wellbeing, and
satisfaction to a higher level. To get started, write a list of qualities you
like about yourself, then read them aloud and often. When you begin to fill your mind with positive thoughts, your life may
start to change in amazing ways.
something different. Doing new things in new ways helps retain brain cells a
produces new ones. In essence, breaking out of your routine can help your mind
stay healthy. A few easy ways to do this are taking a different path to the
store, trying new foods, visiting new places, or talking to someone new. (You
could end up with a new best friend in the process!)
Games such as
crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and even video games like Candy Crush and Wii Sports
are a great way to build your brain muscle. In fact, according to this interesting study, video games may increase your attention
span, reaction time, and task-switching ability. Want some fun online games to
try? Here's a great list to consider.
Read more. Reading is a great activity because it ignites
several parts of the brain. Beyond the mechanics, reading helps you visualize
the subject matter and imagine what voices sound like in the written dialogue. Reading
is also highly relaxing. So, pick up a book and enjoy the endless options of
reading material around you.
mind. Relaxation is just as important in a
mental workout as the more energetic activities. Be sure to schedule some "downtime"
in your day to relax, laugh, meditate, and get plenty of rest.
plays a huge role in your brain health. Researchers believe sleep clears
abnormal proteins in your brain and consolidates memories, which can boost your
overall memory and brain health. For more information on the benefits of sleep,
this is an excellent resource for your reading pleasure.
to lifelong learning.
Continually learning new things has
been shown to reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Lifelong learning is certainly something
we foster at Resort Lifestyle Communities. Through organized activities such as
creative classes, dances, games, book clubs, and cultural excursions, we're
able to create many opportunities for residents to expand their thinking and
boost their intellectual wellness. If you'd like to learn more, find a community near you and schedule a visit. We'd love to host you at one of our next
Mental fitness exercises
don't have to take a lot of time. Simply spending a few minutes each day can
help you feel better and think more clearly. And, when you pair these exercises
with a commitment to lifelong learning, you'll be on a great path to taking
care of your brain health. Here's to strong minds that move mountains!