Neal D. Johnson,M.D.
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Brain-Boosting Exercises to Keep the Mind Sharp

Studying and preparing for an exam may come to naught if you can’t remember what you have read in the first place. No matter what grade level you are, memory plays a vital role in academics. Also, having a good memory and a sharp mind paves the way for a fruitful and productive life. You can do so much if you possess the necessary mental prowess. Thus, it is important for us to maintain and amplify our mental faculties so that we can reach our full potential.

Our brain is capable of learning new tricks. It has the ability to change and adapt to new things; this ability is called neuroplasticity. By forming new neural pathways, our brain’s cognitive capabilities are increased, thus improving our ability to learn new things.

As we grow older, our brain creates millions of neural pathways that make it easier for us to process information or solve problems faster. However, if we stick to these routine pathways, our brain will not receive the stimulation needed to develop and create more neural pathways.

Daily mental exercises and other brain puzzles help fortify our mental faculties by activating or creating new neural pathways. These activities should be out of our comfort zones, must be intellectually demanding and not be something we are already good at.

Cognitive workouts like playing chess, doing a crossword puzzle, memorizing a new poem or learning the lyrics to a song trigger our brain to develop new neural pathways. For a more challenging exercise, you could also try using your non-dominant hand when writing, eating, combing your hair, or brushing your teeth.


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