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17 July, 2008

How To-53: "How to Exercise Your Brain"

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Scientists believe that exercising your brain can create a 'cognitive reserve' that will help you stay sharp as you age.


  1. Take a class to learn something you have always wanted to know about. Learn to play bridge, or study Spanish, or take a seminar in photoshop.
  2. Do games and puzzles such as crossword puzzles and Sudoku puzzles. You can also play word games like Scrabble.
  3. Read often and read a lot of different types of books. Take a magazine and dedicate a certain amount of time to reading it each day or each week. Read the newspaper. Set your computer homepage to bring up news items of particular interest to you. And then read them each time you open the computer.
  4. Remember and repeat groups of words. Try memorizing your grocery list.
  5. Play computer brain games, such as Brain Age for Nintendo DS.
  6. Test and monitor your memory and attention with special computer games.
  7. Write or edit a wikiHow article every now and then.
  8. Meditate often. Take calm, deep breaths. Your brain needs a lot of fresh air.
  9. Eat foods containing omega fatty acids such as flax seeds, hemp seeds and fish. Omega fatty acids have been known to boost intellectual stamina.
  10. Perform math functions regularly.
  11. Learn new words from a word a day calendar or from a dictionary.
  12. Use your left hand if you are right handed, and reverse. You will be exercising the opposite side of the brain.
  13. Mess around with a twisty puzzle.
  14. Learn to read and play music (classical music is known to have the best effects.)
  15. Use the Mozart Effect - classical music increases brain activity more positively than other kinds of music. Two pieces of Mozart's music; Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major (K. 448) and Piano Concerto No. 23 (K. 488), were found to have this effect.
  16. Draw or paint.


  • Remember to exercise your body - a healthier mind results from a healthy body. Get plenty of physical exercise.
  • There are plenty of programs out there that will help with your memory. "Brain Age" or "Big Brain Academy" for the Nintendo DS are recommended and fun. These games were specifically made for improving your memory.
  • Try doing a few things regularly, like memorizing something each day, or using a Rubik's cube for 15 minutes a day.

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Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Exercise Your Brain. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Wikipedia article on "Brain":

Article on "How Your Brain Works" from "How Stuff Works":

Grateful thanks to wikiHow, How Stuff Works and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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