You might have heard the term, neuroplasticity, being bantered around lately. That’s because it’s an exciting new field of scientific research. It looks at the brain’s ability to change and adapt. This is especially important as we get older, and our cognitive function declines. By using neuroplastic exercises you can slow down and even halt this natural decline.
How does neuroplasticity work? It involves doing mental tasks that are challenging and work areas of the brain you tend to use infrequently. When combined with physical movement, these activities become even more challenging.
If you want to give neuroplasticity a try, here are some exercises:
1. Space It – This activity applies spatial, language, and math skills. While walking at a moderately fast pace, say your favorite color out loud. Spell it forward, then backward. How many letters does the word have? Does your telephone number contain that number? If it does, say the section of your number that has it. Repeat that numerical answer backward.
2. Speak It – This activity uses problem solving with spatial and language tasks. Alternate an activity that uses the left and right side of the body, such as forward lunges. As the right side moves, recite the name of any fruit or vegetable. As the left side moves, recite any word in a different language. Do this for 1 minute (Biscontini, 2016).
Continue to work your brain throughout life. You can do crossword puzzles while standing on one leg, play a musical instrument while marching, or play chess while doing planks. By combining physical movement with these mental activities, you will increase the benefits and promote long-term good cognitive health.
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