We all know how important physical activity is, but giving your brain a ‘workout’ is just as important. Although the brain accounts for only 2% of the whole body mass it uses approximately 20% of the blood flowing from the heart. Also, it uses approximately 20% of all the oxygen we breathe. A continuous supply of oxygen is necessary for survival.
Challenging your brain regularly keeps your cognitive skills sharp and reduces the chance of experiencing memory loss. This year, make time to play games and do things that force your mind to work in overdrive.
Do crossword puzzles. Read. Complete a Sudoku. Learn a new language. Take a course to learn something new. Learn how to play video games. Even socialising gives your brain a boost, so think about joining a club or discussion group etc. If you can’t think of something new to do, increasing the level of difficulty is a good way to challenge your brain to work even harder during activities that you may do often. Also revisiting an old hobby is also a good way to strengthen those pathways in the brain.
All these activities promotes neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity – or brain plasticity – is the ability of the brain to modify its connections or re-wire itself. Without this ability, any brain, not just the human brain, would be unable to develop from infancy through to adulthood or recover from brain injury.