If you want your brain to be in tip-top shape, you know that you need to eat healthy food and get regular exercise. You probably also think about doing brain games such as crossword puzzles and Sudoku.
These are all good for your brain, and if you are doing them please don’t stop! But there are other ways to boost your brain fitness that you may not think about.
1. Go Someplace New. Going somewhere new is also a way to increase your brain fitness, so visit someplace you do not normally go. My husband and I did this a while back with a trip to the Denver Aquarium – it was great fun. You can maximize the impact on your brain by including in your visit some type of tour or informational presentation like a film or even reading out loud the descriptions of the various displays.
When you get home you can write down what you remember from your day, which will invoke different types of memory that use various kinds of brain operation and will help to increase your Neuroplasticity.
2. Practice Peripheral Vision. It turns out that going into what I think of as Splatter Vision will turn on different parts of your brain. If you have ever tried Photo Reading by Learning Strategies, they use that technique a lot.
To practice this, stare straight ahead and keep your eyes still. Become aware of everything that is within your vision, especially to the far sides. Try to be aware of all of it without really focusing on any of it. When you are done, try to write down everything that you saw. The more you practice the more you will notice.
This practice helps to release acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is involved with focus and memory. Incidentally this is the same gaze you use to look at the Magic Eyes pictures that can transform a flat image to an amazing 3D display!
3. Lower the Volume. If you are like my parents, you turn up your television really loud! A lot of folks do this because they have allowed their listening to get fuzzy. You can re-tune your hearing by turning it down a little, and concentrating a little more to follow the conversation. Once you can hear at that level without any straining, try turning it down a little more!
These are just 3 examples of brain fitness exercises that you may not know about. There are several others worth checking out at Posit Science.
And for some fun brain calisthenics, try the exercises on this PDF from Time: