Giving your brain a workout was easy when you were in school, which you may have been from the age of three through your late teen years and possibly into adulthood. You were constantly challenged, the reading requirements were tough, and there was always a test to prepare for.
However, as an adult, you do probably don’t do similar things every day. Even if you have a challenging job, it’s nowhere near as demanding as school was for your brain.
But there’s a fix for that. You simply have to do workouts for your mind, just like your body. Whether you’re a gym rat or not, you know the importance of regular workouts for your body. Exercise helps your heart, muscles, joints, bones, and stress levels.
But your brain may be getting ignored, and reading a magazine while on the elliptical doesn’t count. If you want to work out your brain, you’re going to have to take an active approach.
Easy brain workout hacks
One of the easiest ways to get your mind going is to sign up for a class that challenges you intellectually, whether it’s at a community college, in an online course (if you’ll stick to it), or at a community center. This provides accountability and the kind of structure you used to experience in a learning environment.
As a full-fledged adult, you’re in total control of the classes you take. If that kind of approach doesn’t work for you, try swapping out a daily activity (such as a TV show you always watch but don’t particularly like) for a mind challenge, whether it’s a board game with the family like Boggle, Sudoku, or a crossword.
Games are often brain workouts in disguise, so make the most of them.
Make a schedule
It’s easy to want to veg out when you’re home from a hard day of work, but people who prioritize exercise are less inclined to skip their gym schedule. The same has to be true of your brain workout.
It takes 30 days to form a habit, so in just one month you should be on the fast track to keeping your brain healthy. And nobody said multi-tasking was against the rules.
Take something you already love, such as cooking, and boost the required brain power. Charge yourself with trying to memorize a recipe and not depending on always looking it up, or play “Chopped” yourself with limited ingredients.
Your brain is hungry for a workout, so indulge it daily.