Like the rest of our body, our brain needs to be active to stay in shape. Doing intellectually stimulating activities is an excellent way to train our brain. Find out how!
What is an “intellectually stimulating” activity?
Simply put, it’s an activity that challenges your neurons! To get the benefits, certain conditions apply. First, you need to do several different activities and dare to try new ones. It’s also important to invest time and energy in these activities—and to enjoy them!
What does this mean for our everyday life?
According to researchers, engaging in 7 or 8 different intellectually stimulating activities, 3 or 4 times a week each, promotes brain health.
Examples include creative projects, educational activities (e.g., language classes, podcasts on topics of interest), brain games (e.g., sudokus, crossword puzzles) and social and cultural activities (e.g., book club, virtual museum tours). The possibilities are nearly endless.
Intellectually stimulating activities help maintain and build our cognitive reserve. How does this work?
The brain maintains its plasticity throughout our life. It is malleable, which means it never stops adapting and creating connections between neurons. These new networks make up our cognitive reserve and offset the damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease—or with aging itself—thereby helping to preserve memory and other cognitive functions.
Many scientific studies have found a link between regular intellectually stimulating activities and a reduced risk of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s.