When people discuss getting in shape for the summer, they usually mean physical fitness. They pump iron at the gym, go for long bike rides and runs around the neighbourhood in the hopes of achieving that beach-ready bod.
But what about the body’s most powerful muscle – the brain? While not as readily evident as your abs or biceps, the brain still needs exercise, nourishment and care to function optimally.
Ways to Keep Your Brain Healthy
In this post, let’s explore the other side of fitness. What can you do this summer to keep your mind active, engaged and inquisitive? Here are four tips to help your brain this summer.
Take an Online Course – No Matter Your Age
Learning is a lifelong endeavour. It starts the moment you open your eyes at birth, and doesn’t stop. Regardless of your age, consider taking an online course this summer.
If you’re high school-aged, get ahead in your studies (and avoid the dreaded “summer slump”) by enrolling in an ENG4U course or math class. Adults who never earned their high school diploma will also benefit from these online classes.
If you want to improve your marks in a class you already completed, take a repeat course like Upgrade MCV4U or Upgrade SPH4U. Upgrading your marks can make it easier to get into post-secondary schools and may even help you get better scholarships.
Take the Summer Reading Challenge
The Summer Reading Challenge started as a program for primary students in the UK. Since, it has expanded to include high school learners and adults. Several bookstores, libraries and community centres have their own version of the Summer Reading Challenge, research online what’s available in your area.
The rules are generally the same regardless of which challenge you choose. If you read a certain number of books (typically between eight and ten), you become eligible to receive a prize. The challenge incentivizes you to read often and read outside your comfort genres, which is a great way to keep your brain active.
Join an Online Trivia Night
Trivia nights are a one-two punch for brain engagement. On the one hand, they offer opportunities for socialization, which research shows is great for active minds. And, of course, they also test your memory, logic and critical reasoning skills with a variety of questions.
Although many trivia nights are at bars (and therefore unavailable to people below the drinking age), you can find all ages online trivia nights these days. They started as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but continue thanks to their sustained popularity with eager thinkers everywhere.
Diet, Exercise and Rest
Many of the same principles that apply to bodily health also apply to brain health. A diet rich in vegetables and healthy fats (like Omega 3 fatty acids) has been shown to improve brain health. Likewise, exercise and proper rest help you stay sharp and focused. In other words, all those healthy choices you make to get in shape for the summer also help your mind stay sharp.
It isn’t just your body that requires care and attention in the summer months – your brain could also use a boost! Follow these four simple tips to flex your body’s most important muscle.