Ten Mental Exercises to Improve Brain Health and Function

June Blog 2With cognitive related diseases having increased within the past few decades, many Americans are seeking to combat deterioration of much loved brain cells. Common mental illnesses that have plagued the population are ones such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, however we have also seen a rise in others like bi-polar disorder and depression. Most patients of the former end up being hospitalized or have to seek at-home care; a sad but real fact.

While there may not be a way to prevent these types of brain disorders all together, there are some ways that you can keep your brain active and healthy.  Here are ten popular exercises for training your brain:


  1. Working Out

The Alzheimer’s Association states that staying physically active is an A+ way to keep that mind moving like it should. Studies have shown that regular cardiovascular exercise improves brain health by providing regular blood flow to your noggin. In doing so it reduces the risk of “cognitive decline.”.

  1. You Are What You Eat

Improving your diet to being healthier and less junky does wonders as far as mental health too. What you get out is what you put in, ergo putting in more fruits and veggies and less potato chips and soda will help fuel your mind. What are some specific diets that may be beneficial? Check out Mediterranean and Mediterranean-DASH.

  1. Shut-Eyed Showering

Showering with your eyes closed may sounds quirky or perhaps odd, but being completely blinded while maneuvering over your body (solely via touch) helps stimulate that gray matter. It improves your tactile senses, allowing your mind flex muscles it probably hasn’t in quite some time.

  1. Don’t be so Dominant

Using your less dominant hand for activities like brushing your teeth can be a real cranial crash course. Why? You have to use a hemisphere you never usually dive into! This helps to rapidly expand sensory areas in your mind’s cortex.

  1. Rip Apart The Routine

We all enjoy keeping to schedule, but perhaps we need to switch it up a bit. The mind loves patterns because they’re comfortable and easy to follow. Sometimes too easy. We need to throw in a mental monkey wrench! Reader’s Digest has expressed that “novel tasks exercise large areas of the cortex which indicates increased brain activity,” a fact they obtained from information on brain imaging.  So take those risks and walk the dog before having breakfast, or watch cartoons instead of the news!

  1. Taking it Back to School

Continuing education or just studying something you like helps promote brain activity. Learning is a constant journey and the more you learn the better off your mind will be! Regardless of your age, learning something new can be extremely beneficial to brain function.

  1. Tease Your Sniffer

Essential oils, incense, scented candles, and air fresheners are all things that simulate your olfactory senses. Switching the scents in your areas of work or even perhaps while your sleeping helps improve cognition. Incorporate something exotic and original like sandalwood or jasmine or oceans of Tahiti.

  1. Chinking the Change

We all have spare change running around in our pockets, or clanking around in that car cubby. Fiddling with your quarters and playing with your pennies is a real brain game. The action strengthens your synapses, the all-important connections firing electrical impulses throughout your brain.

  1. Sleep

None too fancy, but always important. Putting your head to the pillow for the recommended eight hours helps keep brain health at its peak. Rest is always best.

  1. Keep Your Friends Close

Maintaining friendships and relationships is always a helpful and fun way to keep your mind at its max. Something as simple as playing monopoly with the family or catching the latest movie is a good way to combat mental health qualms.

Doing one of these a day is an accomplishment and doing all 10 is ideal. Just like our bodies our minds need a good work out to stay in shape. In the event that you’ve been previously diagnosed, consider seeking a professional care center for help. Caregivers like those at 24/7 Nursing Care can devise similar activities that are specifically catered to you or your loved one. Contact us for a consultation.