For a healthy brain

Last Updated : 21 August 2015, 18:25 IST

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Physical fitness is undoubtedly a top priority with most people these days. But one must realise that mental health is also equally important for overall wellbeing. Focus, concentration, good memory, sharp brain, quick response and an analytical mind – all these traits will help hone your mental reflexes and make you sharper. So, how do you achieve it in today’s fast-paced, competitive and stressful world? It may come as a surprise to you, but there are some exercises, games, tricks and puzzles that can help exercise your brain.

About the body

First, lets talk about physical exercises. Simple breathing exercises and prana-yama, enrich the body with oxygen and blood supply. The brain, heart and mind function better if you do kapalbhati and anulom vilom. It is also said that doing sun salutations while facing the sun early in the morning gives you a positive start and makes the mind sharper. Also, inverted postures like headstand (sheeshasana), plough (halasana) and sarvangasana
enrich the brain with rich supply of blood.

It definitely helps to improve your memory and focus. Exercising the body is equivalent to exercising the brain. However, the importance of rest and adequate sleep cannot be negated. If you are sleep deprived, your brain does not function well.

Laughter also helps improve the brain and the grey matter. Apart from physical exercises for the mind, you can also play some memory-improving games all by yourself or with a friend/partner. The more you use your brain, the sharper it becomes. Read, make notes, and try to remember new things. Give your brain a challenge everyday.

Dance & play
Declutter your mind and life. Detoxify your body and rejuvenate yourself. It has been noticed that if busy professionals make time to join a dance class like Argentine Tango (known to be therapeutic), or do yoga or Tai Chi everyday, they are able to do their jobs better.

Researches have proved that Tango helps even in cases of Parkinson’s disease. It is meditative and helps to relax. It definitely helps to rejuvenate. It is a gentle and soulful dance unlike other dances, which are sometimes too loud. It helps to improve your cognitive abilities, as it certainly has a mind-body connection.

Engage your brain and learn new skills. Play games like chess or sudoku. Stimulate your brain and all other senses. Your brain becomes smarter and sharper with physical exercise and not by sitting in front of the computer all day or by watching TV.

Walking is a good physical exercise and walking with a partner, in sync with each other and with music is Tango. It improves one’s learning ability, reasoning skills and concentration.

But  do not mistake a leisure activity with partying and eating out, going for movie and going out drinking. A leisure activity has to be one where mind and body are employed and working. Yet, the mind is relaxing. With so many interesting options available, all you need to do is pick your favourite way to exercise your brain.  

(The author is a fitness expert)

Published 21 August 2015, 15:40 IST

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