Brain Training and Exercise: New Experiences Stimulate the Brain

Brain Training and Exercise: Use It or Lose It

Train Your Brain: Use It or Lose It

Just like the muscles in your body, the brain thrives on the motto of " Use it, or lose it."

Stimulate your brain by making it work beyond its normal routine. Try brushing your hair with the opposite hand. Take an alternate route home from work. Work a crossword puzzle.

Don't let your thought processes get stuck in a rut!

Exercise Your Brain: Learn New Vocabulary

Reading, learning new vocabulary words, and solving problems exercise the brain. These exercises help to create more neurotransmitters in the brain and stronger dendrites, which allow thought patterns to connect more efficiently.

Work those brain cells. Stimulate brain activity. Read an entry from a dictionary or go to and learn a new word daily. Obtain a book list from a public library or retail book store and set a goal to read a certain number of books a year. Learn new vocabulary words each month from Reader's Digest "It Pays to Enrich Your Word Power."

New Experiences Stimulate the Brain

What you did is not important. What you learned from it is.

Do not be afraid to try new things. Use every experience as a learning opportunity. Embrace a life of questions. Seek answers. Research facts. Draw conclusions.

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Set Goals, Plan Your Strategy: Put Your Brain to Work

First say to yourself what you would be, then do what you have to do."  —Epicetus

First, plan your goal. Next, plan your strategy. Consider dividing the goal into mini-goals and plan dates for attainment. Research every aspect of your goal. No goal is ever too lofty. Let your goal be a vision or dream that becomes reality.

Music Improves Memory and Creativity

Research has demonstrated the many health benefits of listening to music including improved memory, logic, creativity, and standardized test scores, as well as less stress, anxiety, and depression.

Listen to music, relax and de-stress. Find comfort in soft piano music or your favorite compact disk. Music suggestion: Louis Armstrong's "It's a Wonderful World."

Train Your Brain by Learning New Things

Brain Training and Exercise: Use It or Lose ItPerspective is based on one's experiences. Broaden your perspective by seeking to gain knowledge or experience in a subject you know nothing about.

Choose a subject in which you would like to be more knowledgeable. This subject could range from car mechanics to a foreign language to current events. Pursue the facts through the Internet, a bookstore, or your local library. You can become the specialist about subjects that interest you. Feed on information.

Stimulate Your Mind: Exercise Your Memory

Memorization helps stimulate the mind and comes in handy for references in conversation.

Memorize your favorite poems, Bible verses, or quotes. Go over the words numerous times until they are familiar and easy to recite. Practice memorizing phone numbers. Always associate people's names with descriptive objects. This will help you remember names more readily.

Experiences, Good or Bad, Build Character

"Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grief which we endure help us in our marching onward."  —Henry Ford

Realize that setbacks are growing experiences that allow you to reflect on what has happened and seek an alternative plan. Never compromise your values in this endeavor.

Chewing Gum Stimulates Brain Activity

Research has revealed chewing gum stimulates brain activity by producing a calming effect.

Chew gum when you take a test or need to concentrate for a long period of time.

Making Wise Decisions: Choosing To Be Healthy

Wellness is a conscious effort to make positive decisions about life. It is choosing to be healthy and performing tasks that enhance your quality of life.

Remember you have choices, make wise ones. When making decisions, read all the information you can about the subject you are deciding upon.

Change the things you can, accept the things you cannot. Live for the present and future, learn from your past. Choose to be lighter about life, go with the flow and be thankful for at least five things each morning. Don't be satisfied to feel OK. Choose to be happy, vibrant and in control.

©2003. Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Quail Ridge Press.

This article was excerpted with permission from the book:

Simple Fitness for Your Body, Mind, and Spirit
by Joyce M. Yates & Amanda G. Conrad

Simple Fitness by Joyce Yates and Amanda ConradFinally, a book that pieces together the puzzle of conflicting health information to provide you with a simplified, easy-to-understand guide. There are no complicated fitness routines or diet plans--just the fundamentals necessary for a healthy life. Simple Fitness for Your Body, Mind, and Spirit concentrates on six key areas of health: physical, nutritional, intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual.

Info/Order this book.

About the Authors

Dr. Joyce Meek Yates, author of the article: Brain Training & ExerciseDr. Joyce is coordinator of the graduate program in health education in the Division of Health and Kinesiology at Mississippi University for Women. She has taught health and physical education in higher education for over 20 years. Dr. Yates, along with MUW graduate students, has enjoyed putting time and effort into the health education program "Commit To Be Fit" for the MUW campus and Columbus community. Dr. Yates received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Mississippi, and a Master of Science degree and a Doctor of Education degree from Mississippi State University.

Amanda Conrad, co-author of the article: Brain Training & ExerciseAmanda Conrad holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education, with a concentration in Fitness Management, and a second degree in Human Sciences, with a concentration in Food and Nutrition, both from Mississippi State University. She is a practicing National strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) certified personal trainer and Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) certified fitness instructor. She firmly believes that those who desire physical fitness and improved health respond better to a simple approach.


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