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Brain Plasticity Exercises

by
author image Miguel Cavazos
Miguel Cavazos is a photographer and fitness trainer in Los Angeles who began writing in 2006. He has contributed health, fitness and nutrition articles to various online publications, previously editing stand-up comedy and writing script coverage as a celebrity assistant. Cavazos holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and political science from Texas Christian University.
Brain Plasticity Exercises
Person writing with their left hand Photo Credit itakdalee/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Neuroplasticity refers to your brain's ability to reorganize neural pathways, and brains with more pathways have more plasticity. Your brain enriches its network of dendrites and neural passageways every time it processes new experiences. Every time you learn something new, or learn how to do something new, your brain creates neural passages to sustain that knowledge or skill. Under-stimulated brains lose plasticity because neural pathways are underused and underdeveloped. Brain plasticity exercises can increase brain plasticity.

Switch Up

Build and strengthen neural pathways while doing every day activities by switching the hand you that you use. Switching your hand forces the brain to adapt by expanding or forming new neural connections in your brain. For example, force your brain to experience something new by switching the hand that you use to control the computer mouse. This may feel awkward at first, because it forces your brain to use new neural routes, but will get easier as your brain creates new neural pathways and adjusts to the switch. Other switch up tasks include brushing your teeth, combing your hair, putting on socks, using the remote control, holding a purse, throwing darts and dialing phone numbers.

Flex a Sense

Flex a sense by restricting senses that you normally use to perform everyday tasks. For example, only use non-verbal communication while sharing a meal with someone, close your eyes and get dressed, take a shower with your eyes closed, or turn off the lights and feel your way to the bathroom. According to The Franklin Institute, performing everyday tasks with fewer senses promotes activating underused neural pathways.

Bulk Up

Bulk up your brain by performing two different sensory activities at the same time. For example, listen to music and smell flowers, listen to the rain and tap your finger, or watch clouds and play with modeling clay at the same time. Performing multiple sensory activities at the same time stimulates your brain to create new neuronal connections.

Change Up

Change up your regular routines to stimulate create new neural pathways with new experiences. For example, use a new route to get to work, get out of bed on the other side of the bed, change machines at the gym or run a different route.

Analyze

Think to grow your dendrites. According to IncreaseBrainPower.com, thinking increases the number of dentritic branches or neural pathways that interconnect brain cells. Expand neural pathways by thinking about your thoughts, feelings, a character in a story, a painting or something in nature.

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