So you improve and tone your muscles in the gym, or maybe you do your own little exercises at home, or maybe you’re just wishfully thinking you actually physical exercise. Either way, here is how you can train one of the most important parts of your body, your brain.

First of all, what happens when you train your brain?

  1. You can avoid potentially embarrassing situations when you actually remember someone’s face and name!
  2. You’ll be able to pick up different sorts of skills much faster.
  3. You’ll avoid diseases that will hit you as you get older. Alzheimer’s? No, thank you.

Put your memory to work

Memory activities that involve all levels of brain operation – receiving, remembering, and thinking – help improve the brain’s functions. Studies suggest practicing remembering events or things and discussing them afterward with others. This helps flex your memory muscles.

The simplest way to help yourself remember what you see is repetition. Say, for example, you just met someone new and he introduces himself as William, don’t just respond with “Nice to meet you“. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you, William.”

Learn something new

This one’s a no brainer, because the more you use your brain, the better its performance will be. Learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument). On the other hand, learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking and another means of expressing yourself.

Follow a training programme

The internet is teeming with apps and exercises that will help you improve your brain even while you’re sitting on your couch. Clinically proven programmes like BrainHQ help improve memory and thinking abilities through their various training exercises.

Spend time with your loved ones

If you want to make the most of your cognitive abilities, then nurturing meaningful relationships in your life are necessary. Talking and engaging with friends and loved ones not only lifts your mood but helps you think more clearly.

Skip the crossword puzzle

When we think of brain fitness, many of us think of crossword puzzles. Although it’s true that they improve our fluency, studies show that these puzzles are not enough by themselves. They are fun, yes, but they don’t really sharpen our brains. So if you do these puzzles for fun, go ahead. However, if you’re in it for your brain, you might want to opt for another activity.

Feed your brain

Yes, the food we eat can actually affect our brains! Fish, fruits, and vegetables are just some of the foods that help our brain perform better. And you know what else? Dark chocolate! When you consume dark chocolate your brain produces dopamine. And this organic chemical helps you learn faster and remember better. So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure to grab dark chocolate and have a bite or two!