Dr. Lawrence Katz is an award-winning neurobiologist famous for his book titled Keep Your Brain Alive: 83 Neurobic Exercises to Help Prevent Memory Loss and Increase Mental Fitness
Dr Lawrence Katz calls brain exercises, “neurobics” and believes that people should be just as obsessed with "neurobics" as they are with their yoga classes or weight training regimes.
Neurobics significantly enhance brain performance and protect you from all sorts of mental declines and diseases such as Alzheimer's at a later age. Our brains decline when there is a lack of communication between brain cells - meaning that if we don't use it - we lose it.
Dr Lawence Katz found that by doing the right kind of mental exercise, using all five of our senses - in non-routine ways - we can grow new dendritic connections - which in simple terms means that we can strengthen and grow our brains.
Here are five of the best Neurobics exercises, chosen for their ease of use allowing you to do them anytime, anywhere.
1. Change hands
If you are right-handed, try using your left hand to do everyday things such as brushing your hair or teeth or opening doors.
Using your non-dominant hand results in increased brain activity. Your brain is forced to do new things and it finds it challenging.
This can be very hard at first and results in giving your brain a good workout.
2. Do well-known tasks with your eyes closed
I do not mean driving or even walking in public. But when taking a shower, washing your hands, putting on the laundry or making your bed, try doing it with your eyes closed.
This will force your brain to work harder, rely more heavily on other senses and as such, use new neural pathways.
3. Do things backwards or even upside down
By looking at things upside down you are actually stimulating your brain.
An easy do is wear your watch upside down and try to read it upside down, working your brain as it tried to process the correct time.
You can also hang clocks or calendars upside down. You may risk looking a little crazy to guests of your house but once you explain it's a brain game I'm sure they will respect your creativity!
If you want to take it up a notch, try writing or even speaking backwards, it won't take long before you get better and better, and once this happens the challenge of doing things backwards can be quite addictive to the hungry mind.
4. Read things aloud
A nice evening routine could be to take turns listening and reading your favourite book with your partner, child or friend.
This type of reading engages the imagination in a different way.
One of the earliest demonstrations of brain imaging clearly showed three distinct brain regions lighting up when the same word was read, spoken, or heard.
5. Break routines
Try to not be a person of strict routine. If you have the same meals every day, take the same route to work and sit in the same spot on the sofa at home - it's time to change it up - this type of lifestyle is limiting your brain.
When we have routines, that we action every day, our brains operate on autopilot and gets very little stimulation.
By taking an unfamiliar route or changing up your meals you activate the cortex and hippocampus.