5 Strategies to Keep Your Mind Sharp and Healthy

How many times have you read or heard about the importance of keeping your body fit and healthy? It can help ward off all kinds of potential health issues, improve your mood, give you a boost of energy, and even help your body’s immune system. But have you ever stopped and thought about what you can do to exercise your mind? Cognitive function is a vital piece of the puzzle, so keeping your mind sharp and healthy should be a priority.

If you’re ready to also include your mind in your workout plan and start doing things that will benefit your brain in the present as well as the future, this article is for you. Here are five strategies that will keep your mind sharp and healthy.

Activities, Games, and Puzzles Keep Your Mind Busy and in Shape

Just as you need to stay active to exercise the muscles in your body, your brain requires the same level of use. Activities that can keep your brain active mean you’re keeping it sharp and in shape. Puzzles can be a great workout for the brain and are fun to boot. You can opt for a traditional puzzle, a jigsaw puzzle if you want more of a challenge, or a word-based puzzle, to name a few.

Word-based puzzles include games such as crosswords, word searches, and Scrabble. These all require you to use your brain and try to figure out or find the best word. Because these games can be quite challenging, especially for beginners, you may want to use a site like unscramble.me to help you figure out the “right” words to use.

Other activities that can act as a workout for your brain include Sudoku, playing a game of cards, and even reading. Ideally, you want to switch things up and try a variety of games, puzzles, and activities so your brain is in the best shape possible. It’s worth noting that you can certainly purchase the physical versions of these games and activities, but many are also available as an app for your smart device.

Be Mindful of Your Diet

Did you know that diet can also affect your brain’s fitness level? Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet that is high in nutrition gives your brain the ingredients it needs to thrive. Choose a diet that includes healthy fats, whole grains, plant-based foods, and fish. This is the Mediterranean diet, which isn’t a diet in the sense that you’re counting calories; instead, it is a different lifestyle and way of eating.

One of the worst ingredients for your brain’s health is salt, so at the very least, try cutting back on your salt intake. Too much salt is bad for your body and overall health in all kinds of ways, not just your brain.

Physical Activity Can Also Boost Brain Health

More traditional forms of exercise can also help your brain, especially if you choose an activity that requires learning and memory. A great example is dance, which will require you to learn steps, memorize them, and put them together in a sequence. This uses the brain’s memory and processing power, which are both very important tools. Some great dance classes to try that will benefit your brain include hip-hop, salsa, contemporary, tap, jazz, ballroom dancing, or line dancing. A Zumba exercise class can offer the same types of benefits, too, if you’ve been curious about giving it a go.

Not Enough Sleep Means Your Brain Health Suffers

Here’s another tip that doesn’t just affect your brain health but your overall health. When you don’t get enough sleep at night, your entire body will pay the price. There have been some studies carried out regarding how sleep helps brain health and memory, with lots of signs pointing to positive benefits. But how much sleep is enough sleep? Experts suggest you aim for seven to eight hours nightly.

Learn a New Hobby – Enjoy Multiple Benefits

Learning a new hobby requires you to use your brain, and yet it will also be a relaxing activity. A hobby is meant to be something for you – it’s not being timed, graded, watched, or critiqued by anyone. It’s all about doing something just for yourself. When it requires learning new skills, though, it will help boost your brain activity and function. Even if it doesn’t seem like a particularly intellectual hobby, there can still be learning, critical thinking, problem-solving, and memorizing involved.

Some great hobbies to embrace include:

  • Knitting
  • Scrapbooking
  • Gardening
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Writing/journaling
  • Photography
  • Cooking
  • Woodworking
  • Learning a new language

In Closing

The main takeaway here should be not to embrace just one activity or strategy to keep your mind sharp and healthy but to embrace many and to stay consistent in your efforts. The more you do, the more “in shape” your brain will be, helping you to better function at home and work right now and well into your golden years.

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