So we all know the benefits of exercise for the body, and we’ve discussed this at length in this blog.  Today we are going to talk about exercising the most important muscle of all…your brain.  A healthy body is no good without a healthy brain, so here are some tips to help keep your mind sharp and intuitive throughout the upcoming years.

1. Exercise – Exercise increases blood flow to the brain which brings oxygen and fuel.  Plus, performing new exercises helps create new synapses.

2.  Eat well – The brain, unlike many other organs is incapable of keeping energy “stores”.  Therefore, it relies on your blood sugar to supply it with energy.  Bad blood sugar = Bad fuel for the brain = poor memory and mental performance.

3.  Use your head – Do crossword puzzles, play scrabble (or words with friends), do Sudoku puzzles, etc.  All of these things (and more) keep that noggin of your sharp and honed.  Stretch your mental capacities.

4.  Learn a new skill – Learning new things helps stimulate the growth of new neural pathways in the brain.  Roads that can then be strengthened and used at a later date for related skills.

5.  Sleep – Adequate rest is essential for the development of memories.  If you don’t sleep enough, new information does not stick in your brain and we tend to become more forgetful.  Plus, sleep deprivation impairs performance and judgement, as well as the ability to recover from stress.

So while you’re out taking care of your body this summer, do yourself a favor and care for your mind, too.  It will pay off in the long run.