OT - Tone-up Tuesday
It's Tuesday! Anyone else feel like the week is moving slower than molasses in January? Sigh...
We often talk about physical workouts, but what about our brains? While aerobic exercise is good for the brain (increased heart rate pumps more blood to the brain), it's also important to do some brain exercises.
Some exercises to sharpen your mental skills:
- Test your recall
Make a list (grocery items, a list of chores) and memorize it. An hour or so later, see how many items you can recall. Make the items on your list as challenging as possible for the greatest mental stimulation.
Learn to play a musicaql instrument or join a choir. Studies show that learning something new and complex over a longer period of time is ideal for an aging mind. (Who wants to start a band with kazoos and spoons?)
- Do math in your head
Figure out problems withOUT the aid of pencil, paper, or calculator. Make it more difficult - and athletic - by walking at the same time.
- Take a cooking class
Cooking uses a number of senses: touch, smell, sight, and taste, which involve different parts of the brain.
- Learn a foreign language
The listening and hearing involved stimulates the brain. What's more, a rich vocabulary has been linke to a reduced risk for cognitive decline. Sorry, but Pig Latin doesn't count!
- Create word pictures
Visualize the spelling of a word in your head, then try and think of any words that begin (or end) with the same two letters.
- Draw a map from memory
After returning home from visiting a new place, try to draw a map of the area. Repeat this exercise each time you visit a new location.
- Challenge your taste buds
When eating, try to identify ndividual ingredients in your meal, including subtle herbs and spices.
- Refine your hand-eye abilities
Take up a new hobby that involves fine-motor skills, such as knitting, drawing, painting, assembling a puzzle, etc.
- Learn a new sport
Start doing an athletic exercise that utilizes both mind and body, such as yoga, golf, or tennis.
I like puzzles: jigsaw, sudoku, crossword... I also like to use practice writing with my left hand.
What do YOU do to exercise your mind?