Mental and physical activity are important for your brain health. Well, most people don’t engage in such activities, and we spend most of our day in front of the TV.
A study conducted by a group of researchers at the University of British Columbia confirmed that regular aerobic exercises increase the size of the hippocampus which is the part of your brain related to your memory and learning. Physical activity reduces inflammation, improves insulin resistance and boosts the release of BDNF. In other words, exercise improves your brain power.
Brain exercise is as important as physical activity. It prevents age-related cognitive decline, and provides some of the following benefits:
- Increased overall cognitive ability (I.Q.)
- Better short-term (working) memory
- Improved attention
- Lower emotional reactivity
- Increased processing speed (the transferal of sensory information to actionable intelligence)
Riddles improve brain fitness
Michael Merzenich, Ph.D., co-inventor of the cochlear implant and author of Softwired: How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change Your Life, says that our brain is a work in progress that starts on the day you are born and ends on the day you die.
Try the following riddles to sharpen your brain:
- Find the mitsake (Look carefully)
2. Look at the three grids, and find the missing number
3. How many words can you make using the letters from the world ‘riddle’ plus one extra letter of your choice?
Example: The world “drilled” is created with the same letters as “riddle” plus one “l”
4. Find the missing number from this series:
2, 4, 16, …
5. Unscramble the letters to reveal the surname of a popular artisan.
D N E R B A M R T
A C I S O S P
E M N O T
A G N E O L L I M H C E
H L A R P A E
- The mistake is in the word “mistake.” Did you notice that it’s spelled as “mitsake?”
- It’s number 4. Multiply the number of the horizontal and vertical lines in the grid. 3*3=9, 1*1=1, and 2*2=4
- There isn’t a “right” answer. The unofficial count of the number of potential words is 13: bridled, griddle, diddler, middler, piddler, dreidel, riddled, drilled, riddler, riddles, fiddler, tiddler, girdled.
4. It’s 256, the square of 16.
5. The right answers are: Rembrandt, Picasso, Monet, Michelangelo, and Raphael!
Tips to sharpen your mental fitness
Don’t forget to stimulate your brain every day. You will be sharper, smarter and healthier.
Here are some tips from experts at the Harvard University:
- Eat right, sleep well, don’t smoke, and limit your alcohol consumption. Spend time with your friends and family.
- Do a physical exam once a year.
- Learn. Do something new every day, and enrich your skills.
- Positive thinking is important. Be happy and positive.
- Repeat. If you need to buy something from the grocery store, keep repeating the items to yourself.
- Delegate. Have your own spot for your items, and use planners, calendars, files and other helpful items.