Our brains are powerful tools. In fact, they’re the most powerful tools at our disposal. We all pay so much attention to our bodies, exercising and eating properly, but we often forget to work on our mental fitness. And that is something that needs to be changed.
Working out your brain is just as essential, if not more so, than tending to your physical fitness and cardiovascular health. If you haven’t been doing it so far, there’s no need to worry. Starting now will still do you wonders, and it’s so easy to do.
Start to learn a new language. When we were growing up, nearly all of us had to study another language in school. Whether it was French or Italian, we practiced without ever really thinking about it. But once we got older, most of us probably dropped those languages and never even considered learning an entirely new one. But doing so is one of the best ways to flex those brain muscles. You absolutely do not need to master it (though wouldn’t that be nice if you did?!), as the act of learning it is enough to exercise the neuroplasticity of your left temporal lobe.
Eat your flavonols, resveratrol and omega-3s. We bet you’ve never heard that one before, but getting ample flavonols, resveratrol and omega-3s in your diet is one of the easiest – and most delicious – ways to help rebuild your brain cells. Some of the foods with the highest levels of flavonols are apples, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, onions and strawberries. Grab The Glow and tuck into a bowl of Pumpkin & Sage Soup to get your fill. Resveratrol is found in grapes, peanuts, cocoa and some berries, so nibble on some Raw Blueberry & Oat Cookies or a Salted Caramel Slice. You don’t have to get your omega-3s from fish; in fact, chia seeds have very high levels of omega-3s, so a Raw Energy Bar with The Lightsaber will ensure you have all the omega-3 you need.
Ditch Google Maps. Sure, it’s totally convenient, but making use of Google Maps or similar apps whenever you need to get somewhere is actually detrimental to your brain health. The hippocampus is the main part of your brain responsible for memory, and it also just so happens to be your brain’s own GPS. The grid cell neurons that help you navigate are often lost during old age (particularly in cases of Alzheimer’s), so choosing to navigate on your own will help build those up, an invaluable skill down the line.
Switch up your hands. There is always something so cool about those lucky few people who are actually ambidextrous. If you’re not one of the few, however, you can actually change that. The more you do with your non-dominant hand, the more idle neurons will join the party in your cerebral cortex to help you complete your task. This will increase your neuroplasticity and help your brain become more resilient. Not up for writing with your left hand? Try learning to play a musical instrument. Not only will this tick some of the same boxes as learning a new language but will also engage both hands individually and at once.