How to keep your mind active
With pay-as-you-go gym memberships, more accessible health foods and better promotion of a healthy lifestyle, staying physically active is slowly becoming a part of our daily lives rather than a pursuit in our spare time. The pressure is on to stay fit and sports clubs, personal trainers and gadgets like fitness trackers are making it easier for us to be more active.
The danger is that many of us are focusing on our bodies and neglecting the fact that our brains need a work out on a daily basis too. It's true that physical exercise helps us to maintain a healthy mind, but using our brains for complex tasks on a daily basis also goes a long way to promoting good mental health and combatting long term problems like Alzheimer's and dementia. The good news is that brain exercise isn't too time consuming and a lot of what we do on a daily basis, such as having a conversation or even formulating an email, will challenge our brains. There are however a few extras that can be done on the move to promote improved brain health and are way more fun than spending hours on the treadmill.
Read something other than the news
Many jobs require us to read everything from reports to emails to complex data, but on our commutes or lunch break it might be tempting to scroll through Instagram or pull up the daily gossip column. This goes a long way to helping our brains to relax during a busy day, but why not try something a bit more challenging? Pick a piece of complex fiction or learn about something that interests you. If you can't be bothered carrying books around, then there are millions of titles on phones and Kindles, some free, that will help you to expand your mind and avoid the easy option.
OK, so you may not have enough time to go to a bingo hall for a quick game between meetings, but the internet is here to save the day. Bingo is often seen as a bit of fun or an opportunity to socialise with friends, but winning a game requires concentration and the ability to remember which numbers you have on your card. There some fantastic mobile bingo sites out there to help players who are on the move, Wink Bingo offer games for all budgets and a thriving online community that provides a great social experience as well.
Learn a language
With hundreds of free apps and resources online and unprecedented access to foreign language movies, books and newspapers, learning a language has never been easier. Forcing your brain to remember new words and basically re-learning how to read, write and speak is a fantastic mental workout and it's easy to do quick 5-10 minute sessions here and there. With a strategy and the right techniques, it's entirely possible to learn a language pretty quickly with the right level of immersion.
Listen to a podcast
It might be easy to stick some music on and zone out on the morning commute, but why not listen to something interesting and informative instead? There are literally thousands of podcasts available for free, covering everything from sport to film to baking. Try making notes as you go along, helping to promote better memory recall and storage.
It doesn't take much to ensure better mental health through increased brain training, with small tweaks needed to most daily routines. Getting enough sleep, exercising daily and maintaining a healthy diet will also go a long way to ensuring brain health, so fit these activities in as part of an all-round well-being plan for best results.