Use it or lose it!

Although the brain is not a muscle, it can still be trained. This can be experienced, for example, by people who have to relearn many things after brain strokes or accidents, which they have done as a matter of course before. Our thinking organ has undreamt-of capacities and unused areas. But it needs food. On the one hand this means sufficient fluid and many vitamins, minerals and enzymes – in short: a healthy diet and intelligent drinking behaviour. Secondly, it helps if blood circulation is stimulated in old age and age-appropriate sport is practised. Thirdly, regular training of the grey cells ensures that they do not rust. With little effort and daily brain jogging exercises you can achieve a considerable increase in mental memory and concentration. Use a time of day in which you feel rested and ready for new challenges.

In concrete terms: Which exercises make sense?

Many exercises can be improvised to keep the brain active. The main aim is to train short-term memory and memory. Long-term memory usually works better in old age

    • Brush your teeth with your unusual hand. This trains your motor skills and activates the less used hemisphere.
    • Solve a crossword puzzle by filling the boxes with the other than your usual writing hand.
    • The shopping list can also serve as an exercise in this direction.
    • It serves the purpose of concentration when you read a book in large print and read a page upside down. If you do this for ten minutes, the ability to concentrate is activated.

10-30 minutes

As you can see, brain jogging is not difficult at all. Over time, you’ll notice that the mental training is working. It is important to insert only ten to thirty minutes of brain jogging. Our brain is structured in such a way that it can provide undivided attention for a maximum of ninety minutes. Then it needs relaxation. Only people who have meditated for years and reach different levels of immersion are capable of longer lasting concentration. We are better served with small doses of mental training as forgetfulness progresses.

The mixture makes it

This doesn’t mean that you won’t face any mental challenges the rest of the day. The right mix between mental tension and relaxation is important. You should also remember that the human brain always needs new challenges in order to remain efficient. Everything that has become a habit is not a helpful training to the mind.

Break the routine

Memory games are like puzzles: if you answer the same puzzle question too often, crossword puzzles become routine. In Sudoku, you guess most numbers while you sleep. This may feel like a challenge. In fact, however, it puts the not busy grey cells to sleep. The brain must be torn out of the twilight sleep of habit and routine so that it remains active and feels challenged. Strain your synapses so that there are always new connections.

New experiences every day

When you’re tired of solving puzzles and reading newspaper pages overhead, it’s time for something new. Even better, face new experiences every day. Don’t repeat a brain jogging exercise until you’ve forgotten it. People like ex-chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who are dealing with politics and contemporary history until old age, remain sharp thinkers. Old people who make up for their missed doctorates also manage this intellectual feat of strength. Leaving habitual ways of thinking and doing things differently strengthens mental abilities. Every routine and habit is harmful and ends in boredom.

Train your visual imagination

Leave the usual paths to give room to new experiences. Train your visual imagination, because it means creativity.

  • When washing up you can visualize short scenes of your travels.
  • Visualize an image sequence from a film you would like to have shot yourself.
  • Play “I pack my suitcase” with your grandchildren and try to remember the things you put into it via mental pictures and mnemonic aid.
  • Many people remember things by creating a kind of mental folder for them.
  • Learn a new language

It must be fun!

Don’t forget: whatever you choose as a challenge should be fun. The exercise should not be trained daily for too long. It is advantageous to practice brain jogging exercises on one or more days and then omit them for several months in favor of other challenges. If you have forgotten an exercise or are out of training, it belongs back on the agenda:


Conclusion: Don’t let anything become a loving habit, but create new synapses in your brain through new experiences, lateral thinking and spiritual challenges.


Quelle: Dr. Klaus Mühlhausen: “Mit 3 Einfachen Tipps bis ins hohe Alter”( ebook)
Photo: Alvaro Reyes