By Katherine Watt
As such an important organ, your brain is something to look after for life. Lots of people have turned to brain training games to stay sharp but the latest research from age UK suggests that learning new skills and techniques could be even more beneficial. More information about the research, carried out by Age UK, can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40801867.
At Top Santé we love the idea of learning something new, and will be writing about how ‘micromastery’ i.e. learning tiny new skills, is so good for your brain in the October 2017 issue. But for now, how about giving some of these activities a go?
Try some tai chi
Using a combination of deep breathing and flowing movement, this relaxing form of exercise can help to reduce stress, improve posture and increase muscle strength. The gentle nature of tai chi allows it to be a suitable exercise for everyone, meaning it is very unlikely to cause injury. (needs to be more specifically why it helps the brain rather than body – perhaps the two are connected but that needs to be made clear)
Research your family tree
Spending time looking up past members of your family can be both fascinating and rewarding. Try finding old photographs, talking to relatives and creating your own family tree. This can preoccupy your mind as it becomes addictive to continue to trace back and discover new ancestors.
Get creative and write your own book
It is thought we all have at least one book in us. So why not try writing your own novel? Whatever the genre, it will give your brain a rest from everyday life – kind of like a form of mindfulness –while stimulating your imagination.
Take up photography
Taking photographs can be an amazing way to energise your brain. Finding the correct angle and lighting can be a challenging task and also get your creative juices flowing. And although some cameras can be pricey, they can be a fantastic investment. Capturing memories can be a rewarding hobby, especially when you look back in years to come.
Get out into the garden
Not only is gardening a good form of physical exercise but it also allows you to grow your own organic fruit and veg to stay healthy. Being outdoors and surrounded by nature is hugely beneficial to your mental wellbeing, while learning about different plants keeps your brain active too.
Compiled by Lorna White