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Mental exercises will keep you sharp

Health & Science

By Florence Dallu

Physical exercise is great. It’s like hearing your favourite song play after a long, tiring day. It revs up your energy levels. Scientists even believe it releases a hormone called endorphin that helps you sleep better.

While there are many activities that can help you get physically fit, many people don’t do much to stay mentally healthy.

Here are a few tips to help you exercise your brain.

Try to remember names, phone numbers and events instead of relying on your diary. It helps to improve your memory. You will be thankful later when you find it really easy to recall details.

You can also exercise your mind by doing quizzes and crossword puzzles. Generation Next has several. It does not have to be something difficult. Move on to the ones in the main newspaper. You will soon realise that they are not as difficult as they may first look.

Cut down on the hours you spend watching television and playing video games. Read a book instead.

Try to learn new words. If you can sing the lyrics to your favourite song then you can learn a new concept in biology or chemistry.

It is also important to get plenty of rest. Sleep enables your mind to relax and rejuvenate itself. That is why it is easier to read and understand when you are well rested. So make sure you sleep at least eight hours a night.

Your brain is a powerful machine. It is made up of 14 billion cells. If used to the maximum this human computer inside our heads could contain all the knowledge of humanity from the beginning to the present and still have room left over.

The writer is a former president of the Children’s Cabinet.

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