The phrase “use it or lose it” applies to nothing quite as well as it applies to the human brain. Just like physical activity can fight off heart disease, exercising the gray matter between your ears can fight off neurological diseases like dementia.
In addition, numerous studies have shown that individuals whose brains are more mentally agile have less risk of developing Alzheimer’s. And just as physical agility is achieved through exercise, mental agility is achieved via cerebral stimulation.
Of course, you may be thinking: I’m young. I work hard, mentally and physically. I don’t need to worry about my cognitive functions.
Not true. The mind is different from the body in one major area: While you can keep your body fit by doing the same thing over and over again (e.g., going for a jog), repetition can actually make your brain go into sleep mode.
So while it may feel like your job is taxing on your brain, it may not be if you’re constantly focused on the same kinds of tasks every day. It’s easy to confuse mental fatigue with mental boredom. Both feel the same.
So let’s start working your brain. Here’s a variety of exercises that will give your brain a quick tune-up and keep it feeling as young as your body: