CogniFit's Science blog: Mental Exercise For Your Overall Health

Mental Exercise For Your Overall Health

The brain is an amazing organ and the seat of our consciousness. It is like other parts of our body in that in order to help keep it healthy you need to perform some type of mental exercise. We’ll discuss more about this and why it is so important.

In its simplest form, a mental exercise is an activity which challenges your brain to think in a certain way. It exercises the brain since it stimulates thought and encourages certain kinds of reactions. There are many kinds of mental exercises and they can be used in different kinds of situations and for different goals.

When we are children, we are basically exercising our brains since everything we do is new and it stimulates the brain to act in a certain way. As we get older, certain functions of the brain begin to deteriorate due to lack of use or other age related factors.

Mental exercise stimulates some of these functions and encourages the brain to reestablish new neuronal pathways (neurogenesis). For example a common thing which deteriorates over time is memory. Mental exercises can be used to help stimulate the functions which control memory.

There are different techniques which can be used to help maintain or even improve memory over time. There are other memory exercises which can be used to stimulate the brain to perform arithmetic tasks and others that are related to artistic or visual endeavors.

Depending on the need of the individual person, a grouping of mental exercises may be important to implement. And even without a formal program, it can be very beneficial to stimulate the brain. If you use your brain in a constructive manner and keep it constantly challenged, it tends to operate in the best possible manner.

There are a number of ways to apply mental exercises. Your doctor or therapist may be a great resource for effective strategies and techniques. There has been a great deal of investigation and research into the best kinds of mental exercise techniques and brain training has been proven to be an effective way to train and maintain a good mental health. You need to be selective with the program you use and make sure it is scientifically validated.

If you want to help a friend or loved one, some of these exercises are meant to be used in teams. You can help to implement the techniques and be encouraging so the person sticks with it and receives maximum benefit.