5 tips to exercise your brain

We should exercise our brains just like we do our bodies. Here's why — and 5 tips on how to do it right.

Your brain is meant to be active!

Regular brain exercises would lower the risk of dementia. Explanations from Dr. Tara Swart, neuroscientist. “The body is not the only one needing to do sport… The brain too! Indeed, cognitive reserve and the ability to manage neurological disorders decrease as we age. Update with neuroscientist Dr. Tara Swart, who lists five ways to stimulate your brain.”

Learn a language or play an instrument

“If you really want to do something that physically changes your brain and keep it healthy longer, it has to be something difficult: learning a new language or playing a musical instrument, for example. It is important, when talking about brain training, to remember that you cannot disconnect the circuits that are already in your brain. You must therefore replace them with the new desired behavior. The level of attention has to be high enough to physically modify your brain, to change the circuits.”

Play: the wrong good idea

“Unfortunately, games like crossword puzzles and sudokus don't require enough attention to modify the brain and prevent dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Some applications, such as those that help memorize series of words, can be really useful. Some people find that they actually improve their cognitive performance, but others use them to focus on themselves or to take a break between two tasks.”

To meet new people

“Interact with different people. Interact differently. Observe places or people with whom you might try to adopt new behaviors.”

To sleep

“We need to sleep seven to nine hours a night, because the brain-cleaning job of actively removing toxins takes between seven and eight hours. This makes it possible to clean the beta-amyloid plaques and the tangles formed by the tau protein, present in pathologies such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease.”

Be more aware

“Sit on the bus to do a soul-searching exercise, notice what other people are doing, try to remember things that you see happening every day and that you may not notice. This is where that the work of passing from the unconscious to the conscious can begin.”