Neurobics Exercises

Neurobics is a word you might not have come across us before, but it’s a fairly simple idea. Neurobics describes any novel mental exercise designed to keep the brain alert and enhance its performance. Just like Aerobics are simple exercises which work out your body, Neurobics are simple exercises which work out your mind.

The term was coined by the neurobiologist Lawrence Katz, and is based on the theory that any action which is done repeatedly and often enough becomes automatic and so is mostly completed unconsciously. However unusual non-routine activities and thoughts require conscious effort and so produce more beneficial neurobiological chemicals which encourage growth of new cells within the brain.


How do Neurobics Exercises work?

Neurobic exercises, are generally those that involve non-routine actions and thoughts. These produce more of the chemicals that encourage growth of new dendrites and neurons in the brain. New neurons and dendrites combine to produce new neural pathways, providing faster, more direct connections between regions of the brain.

There are a wide range of neurobic exercises you can do, in fact virtually anything which simulates different senses or uses unfamiliar motions will put an increased demand on your brain. Often quoted examples are brushing your teeth with your non dominant hand, or taking a shower with your eyes closed. Just try one of these and you’ll easily see how much more engaged your brain is than compared to doing them normally.

Neurobics exercises, should do one or more of the following:
1. Involve one or more of your senses in a new context.
2. Involve your full attention, at least briefly.
3. Break your routine in some significant way.


Example Neurobics Exercises

Take a shower with your eyes closed - Your others senses will be more heightened and more engaged
Brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand - Simulates growth of new cells responsible for fine motor control
Swap your cutlery to opposite hands when eating - Sounds easy, but you will have to concentrate to do it!
Distinguish coins using only your sense of touch - Engages the parts of your brain for touch and pattern recognition.
Go to a different shop - Figuring out what is kept where in a new store will switch off the autopilot of doing the shopping.
Leave the lights off in your house - Be careful, but finding your way roudn in the dark will improve your spatial awareness.

Or you can just make up your own, as long as they fit one or more of the three points in the 'How do Neurobics Exercises work' sectoin above you'll be giving your brain an extra little workout.


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