Brainpower: Tips For Brain Exercise

Brainpower: Tips For Brain Exercise

You may or may not know this, but your brain is like a muscle and in the same way you exercise your body to maintain a level of fitness and health, you should also be exercising your brain to improve your cognitive abilities and maximise your brainpower!

Now, you’re probably thinking, that’s all well and good but how do I lift a barbell with my brain?

Fortunately, exercising your brain is a little bit simpler than this and there are a number of ways you can flex your brain ‘muscles’. In this article, we’ll focus our attention on to 3 simple ways you can stimulate your brain to harness your brainpower. 

To begin let’s gauge an understanding of what brainpower is. 

The Cambridge dictionary definition for brainpower is:

“Your intelligence or your ability to think” 

  • Solving this problem has taken all my brainpower. 

Walk It Off

Being physically active has a plethora of benefits for your body, but it also has great benefits for your brain. A study conducted by the University of British Columbia found that aerobic exercise does wonders for your cognition. Researchers found that regular activities such as walking help to increase the size of the hippocampus – the area of the brain which is involved in your memory and learning (Godman, 2014). It doesn’t just stop at walking, any activity which gets your ticker pumping like swimming, climbing or dancing will have similar benefits. 

Eat a Mediterranean Diet 

With so many diets and meal plans floating around in the mainstream media, it can be difficult to know which one is the best one for you. Studies suggest a Mediterranean diet is an ideal way to bump up your brainpower. It consists of consuming large amounts of fruit, veg, legumes, cereals and olive oil, moderate consumption of fish, dairy products and low consumption of poultry, red meat and wine (with meals, of course). Researchers of one study found that consuming a Mediterranean diet is good for both brain and body; It can lower inflammation, reduce risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease and improve cognitive function (Luciano et al., 2017)

Train Your Brain 

Another effective way of boosting your brainpower is through brain training. Several studies have been carried out which highlight the long term positive effects of using computerised cognitive training. Dr Barbara Sahakian of Cambridge University designed a game called Decoder in partnership with Peak – Brain Training which aims to better cognitive abilities and enhance sustained attention. Sahakian and her team of researchers found that Decoder was a “superior” form of cognitive training and is an “effective method for enhancing attention” (Savulich et al., 2019).

It doesn’t just stop there, there are numerous other things you can do to boost your brainpower by treating your brain like a muscle. Finding what’s best for you will help to improve your cognitive functions and boost your memory, attention, language and problem-solving skills. 

BrainPower Research Sources Cited:

Godman, H. (2014). Regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory, thinking skills – Harvard Health Blog. [online] Harvard Health Blog. Available at: (2019). BRAINPOWER | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary. [online] Available at:

Luciano, M., Corley, J., Cox, S., Valdés Hernández, M., Craig, L., Dickie, D., Karama, S., McNeill, G., Bastin, M., Wardlaw, J. and Deary, I. (2017). Mediterranean-type diet and brain structural change from 73 to 76 years in a Scottish cohort. Neurology, 88(5), pp.449-455.

Savulich, G., Thorp, E., Piercy, T., Peterson, K., Pickard, J. and Sahakian, B. (2019). Improvements in Attention Following Cognitive Training With the Novel “Decoder” Game on an iPad. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 13.


Senses and memories


photo by Javier Arce ↩ via PhotoRee

Have you ever walked in a crowd and caught a scent that makes you stand stock still?

Have you ever put the radio on been transfixed by a long forgotten song? A school disco song maybe, a ballad that reminds you of a lost teenage love, a song with family significance?

Have you seen a photo that you perhaps haven’t seen before but makes you catch your breath because it brings back a memory?

I wont pretend to know how the synapses in the brain work,  but what I do know is that certain sights, sounds and smells can trigger one hell of a reaction.

Patchouli oil reminds me of a certain time as a young teen as my best friend always wore it, the smell of a malboro cigarette reminds me of a very hot British summer spent smoking, drinking, hanging out and just being kids.

Occasionally there is a certain feeling in the air, fresh but warm during the summer, usually early morning and I can remember vividly a little girl in Scotland wearing a white tshirt with a pastel butterfly on the front, with blue jeans and slightly rusty orange hands from swinging round and round on a street sign waiting for her friend to come out and play.

Sometime I find myself in that infuriating situation where a memory is triggered but I can’t quite grasp it. I smell something and know it has relevance but what is it? Is there anything more frustrating than that?

There is a catalogue of sense-related memories that I often forget until I experience them again. I’m curious,what scent, sight or sound makes you remember something significant?