5 Brain Exercises to Improve Memory and Concentration | Jim Kwik
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative HealthTrusted Source, research suggests that meditation may benefit the brain by slowing brain aging and increasing the brain’s ability to process information.People can practice visualization in their day-to-day lives. For example, before going shopping, people can visualize how they will get to and from the grocery store, and imagine what they will buy when they get there. The key is to imagine the scenes vividly and in as much detail as possible.Playing card games or board games can be a fun way to socialize or pass the time. These activities may also be beneficial for the brain. A 2017 studyTrusted Source found a link between playing games and a decreased risk of cognitive impairment in older adults.
Completing a jigsaw puzzle can be a good way to pass the time and may also benefit the brain. A 2018 studyTrusted Source found that puzzles activate many cognitive functions, including:
- mental rotation
- working memory
The study concluded that doing jigsaw puzzles regularly and throughout life may protect against the effects of brain aging.A 2015 studyTrusted Source found that there is a connection between regular participation in checkers or other cognitively stimulating games and larger brain volume and improved markers of cognitive health in people at risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
A 2015 review notes that some types of video games — such as action, puzzle, and strategy games — may lead to improvements in the following:
- problem solving
- cognitive flexibility
- Learning new skills engages the brain in different ways and may help improve brain function.
- A 2014 studyTrusted Source of older adults found that learning a new and cognitively demanding skill, such as quilting or photography, enhanced memory function.
- Increasing one’s vocabulary range is a great way to broaden knowledge while exercising the brain.
- A simple way to increase vocabulary is to read a book or watch a TV program and note down any words that are unfamiliar. A person can then use a dictionary to look up the meaning of the word and think up ways to use the word in a sentence.
- “Bilingualism” refers to the ability to speak two languages.
- A 2019 reviewTrusted Source notes that bilingualism increases and strengthens connectivity between different areas of the brain. The researchers propose that this enhanced connectivity may play a role in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
- Taking up a new hobby can be mentally stimulating and exercise the brain in new ways.
- Hobbies that require coordination or dexterity will activate a person’s motor skills. Such hobbies may include:
- learning a musical instrument
- Regular physical exercise is beneficial for both the brain and the body. Authors of a 2019 review note that exercise improves the following aspects of brain health:
- motor coordination
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, exercise has beneficial effects on the following aspects of cognitive health:
- Dance is a form of exercise that may also engage areas of the brain involved in rhythm and balance.