It is not recommended to be a creature of habit, so make sure you “switch it up.” The brain does not like it if you are always doing the same thing. The leading researchers and neuroscientists have found one of the top three ways to improve memory is to perform novel or new activities. Children are typically always doing new things, but Covid-19 hysteria has made this more difficult. Due to the current pandemic, many children are stuck at home playing more video games and using more electronics than ever before. These activities are very bad for brain development, especially when it is the same game or activity over and over again. Also, adults are stuck at home as well, and they are working on the computer, watching Netflix, playing on social media, watching the news, browsing the internet, and scrolling through their iPads.

Children and adults both must challenge their brains in different ways every single day. On Monday, do a word jumble, on Tuesday do a maze, on Wednesday do a crossword puzzle, on Thursday play Sudoku, on Friday play board games, on Saturday play cards, and on Sunday complete a jigsaw puzzle. Every week try at least one new game that you have never played before because it will require using different areas of the brain.

Two younger school-aged children doing a puzzle togetherIt is very important to take care of the children’s brains because their brains are in the developmental stage and their brains need to learn new activities to ensure proper maturation and create the most synaptic connections to function at the highest level. It is also very important to take care of adults’ brains to prevent future problems such as dementia, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. Even Covid-19 has been found to cause similar symptoms of many neurological disorders such as brain fog, confusion, loss of smell, headaches, trouble focusing, and changes in behavior. These long haulers have been getting a lot of improvement, in addition to more energy, better sleep, and better skin after using the hyperbaric oxygen chamber (HBOT) in our Emerson, NJ office. The HBOT is a machine that fills up with oxygen and basically increases the oxygen flow into the cells by changing the pressure inside the machine.

One of the best ways to prevent a poor Covid-19 outcome and prevent dementia at the same time is to exercise. People with diabetes, obesity, Vitamin D deficiency, and heart disease have the most fatal outcomes from this coronavirus so outdoor exercise is one of the best ways to prevent getting these conditions, in addition to preventing you from getting Alzheimer’s disease. Exercise is necessary for the brain and body, but make sure you “switch it up.” It would be great to jog 2 miles one day, run one mile one day, sprint hundred-yard dashes one day, take a long walk one day, power walk one day, hike one day, bike one day, swim one day, row a boat one day, and rollerblade one day. It is also good to keep changing up the routine with weights, bands, or balls. You can even go in the backyard and use rocks, large sticks, and branches as great substitutes for most weights. Being creative with your workouts is also good for the brain. Think about taking different dance lessons where you can physically and mentally get challenged at the same time.

People using the rowing machine in a gym settingIf I were to invest in an exercise machine right now, it would be the rowing machine because it is the best workout that uses the most important muscle groups while causing the least strain on the joints. If you don’t want to get a machine, there are plenty of online classes like Crossfit, Cycling, Karate, Pilates, HIIT, Yoga, Tai Chi, Zumba, Hip-Hop Dance, Boot Camps, as well as home programs like P90X or Insanity. There are so many ways to develop different muscles so that your brain is challenged in different ways.

Other novel activities that do not involve physical challenges include learning a different language, skill, or art form. Learn a new language, how to play an instrument, or how to sew or knit. Start painting, drawing, sculpting or even origami. Read different book genres and go outside your comfort zone. The point is to keep looking for novelty. There are so many novel activities that you can perform on a daily basis. You can start by taking a different route to work. Novelty can be applied to food, as well. Eat each color of the rainbow every day and don’t have a weekly menu. Luckily, with the great variety of foods available to us, this task is very easy.

In conclusion, it is important to change up every activity you do and to keep learning new things. Start brushing your teeth or your hair with your non-dominant hand. Walk sideways or wear only one shoe. Visit places you have never been and perform activities you have never done. Read a book upside down. Remember people’s phone numbers and the next time you see them, they will be very impressed. Try spelling backwards, writing backwards, and even walking backwards. These simple changes will help you improve your memory, increase your brain function, improve your quality of life, and will help you to function better, feel better, and live better.