What do you do for brain aerobics?
In the Mental Exercise module of ARPF’s Online Brain Longevity Therapy Training (BLTT), we asked students to comment on how they “workout” their brains.
But first, what are brain aerobics exactly?
In order for an activity to be considered brain aerobics, three conditions must be met: 1) It needs to engage attention; 2) It must break a routine action in an unexpected, nontrivial way; 3) It must involve more than one of the senses.
Some examples of brain aerobics include:
- Headline discussion: Discuss a newspaper or magazine article, book, movie, or TV show with a friend or significant other.
- DIY memory games: In your office or at home, open a drawer, select five or 10 things you see, and memorize them. Walk away. A few minutes later, come back to the drawer, but before you open it, write down the items you memorized. Then, open the drawer and see if you were correct. Or, while grocery shopping, walk down the cereal aisle (or aisle of your choice) and memorize the first five cereals on the shelf. Continue on with your shopping. Before you head to checkout, walk back down the aisle and see if you memorized them correctly.
- Senses stimulation: If you can’t get out for an awareness walk, you can still easily engage all of your senses. Select a small object such as a key or a pen. Out loud, describe everything that you can about that object. What does it look like? How does it feel? Does it make a sound?
Our BLTT students came up with the following:
“Awareness walking, teaching yoga, word puzzles, Zumba dancing, using my left hand to draw or try to write. I love talking to my plants and taking pictures of nature.”
“I didn’t realize how often I did mindful walking. I have been pleasantly surprised by much of what I’ve been doing with my mom has been in the right direction. Completing this module I tried the upside-down reading which I found both interesting and fun.”
“I like doing quite intricate craft whilst listening to the news or podcasts. A bit sedentary, but it does stimulate my mind and my senses, and beats lying on the couch watching TV! This is an excellent course; thank you very much.”
“This is my second time taking this training and it is even more enjoyable than the first time. I find that my attention span and focus at age 64 have actually increased. I am happy to say that after a year of daily practice of KK. there is no doubt a direct correlation to these factors. One of my brain exercises is to enjoy walking and memorizing challenging mantras while walking in nature.”
“I am grateful for this life where I have various activities and several jobs/missions. I get to teach, design and sew, enjoy nature around. My children and husband have kept me on my toes. Teaching yoga and sharing the goodness of it is also on the list. As a translator in various fields, I do a lot of mental exercise. My new challenge is to coach and help others working on mindset changes to keep moving their life forward. And I want to find the time to play music.”
Would you like more information on the power of brain aerobics and mental exercise? How about fun games to keep you sharp and highly functioning? Mental exercise is so important for brain health– that’s why it’s part of ARPF’s 4 Pillars of Alzheimer’s Prevention®. To learn all about keeping your brain in tip top shape– visit arpf.com.