There are many ways to improve your overall brain power. Your brain is a thinking organ that learns and grows by interacting with the world through perception and action. Mental stimulation improves brain function and actually protects against cognitive decline, as does physical exercise.
The human brain is able to continually adapt and rewire itself. Even in old age, it can grow new neurons. Severe mental decline is usually caused by disease, whereas most age-related losses in memory or motor skills simply result from inactivity and a lack of mental exercise and stimulation. In other words, use it or lose it.
One of the easiest ways to get your brain to become more healthy and more powerful is to play mind or brain games. However, reading still ranks #1 as ways to improve your brain power, but check out these other techniques as well. (see article "Reading Still the Best Brain Exercise")
The benefits of reading as related to the brain seem to stem from how reading sparks imagination and forces the brain to develop images to match the written word. If you are already an avid reader, branch out from familiar reading topics. If you usually read history books, try a contemporary novel. Read foreign authors, the classics and random books. Not only will your brain get a workout by imagining different time periods, cultures and peoples, you will also have interesting stories to tell about your reading, what it makes you think of and the connections you draw between modern life and the words.
Brain fitness programs and games are a wonderful way to tease and challenge your brain. Suduko, crosswords and electronic games can all improve your brain's speed and memory. These games rely on logic, word skills, math and more. These games are also fun. You'll get benefit more by doing these games a little bit every day — spend 15 minutes or so, not hours.
Daily meditation is perhaps the single greatest thing you can do for your mind/body health. Meditation not only relaxes you, it gives your brain a workout. By creating a different mental state, you engage your brain in new and interesting ways while increasing your brain fitness.
Eat for Your Brain
Your brain needs you to eat healthy fats. Focus on fish oils from wild salmon, nuts such as walnuts, seeds such as flax seed and olive oil. Eat more of these foods and less saturated fats. Eliminate transfats completely from your diet.
Turn Off Your Television
We usually hear that the average person watches more than 4 hours of television everyday. In June 2001, ABC News reported that school children spend 4.8 hours per day on the computer, watching TV, or playing video games. The impact of computers, video games, and the television not only encourage a sedentary lifestyle but also respresent a real health crisis. And, not just for couch-potatoes. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when blood circulation slows, allowing clots to form and then, eventually, break free, causing death. DVT has been nicknamed “economy class syndrome,” because airplane passengers who sit throughout a long flight in the close quarters of economy class have become victims of DVT.
Television can stand in the way of relationships, life and more. Turn off your TV and spend more time living and exercising your mind and body.
Exercise Your Body To Exercise Your Brain
Physical exercise is great brain exercise too. By moving your body, your brain has to learn new muscle skills, estimate distance and practice balance. Choose a variety of exercises to challenge your brain.
Learn a New Skill
Learning a new skill works multiple areas of the brain. Your memory comes into play, you learn new movements and you associate things differently. Reading Shakespeare, learning to cook and building an airplane out of toothpicks all will challenge your brain and give you something to think about.
Make Simple Changes
We love our routines. We have hobbies and pastimes that we could do for hours on end. But the more something is 'second nature,' the less our brains have to work to do it. To really help your brain stay young, challenge it. Change routes to the grocery store, use your opposite hand to open doors and eat dessert first. All this will force your brain to wake up from habits and pay attention again.
Train Your Brain
Brain training is becoming a trend. There are formal courses, websites and books with programs on how to train your brain to work better and faster. There is some research behind these programs, but the basic principles are memory, visualization and reasoning. Work on these three concepts everyday and your brain will be ready for anything.