Some Creative Ways to Exercise Your Brain

Dr. Adrian Pujayana

SEVERAL years ago, I challenged our readers to try “Neurobics’’ — activities that develop our brain function.

Using your non-dominant hand when eating or brushing your teeth, standing on one foot while washing dishes and driving home a different way for a week are such examples of exercising your creativity and your mind to resolve obstacles in real-time.

I want to revisit the Neurobics challenge, as we need more and more engagement with present-time problem solving in order to keep our brain functioning at a minimally decent level.  Here are some additional exercises to try.

The “Thank-You Letter” — For the next month, write one letter each week with your own handwriting to someone you are thankful for, and express your gratitude and appreciation to them. This will help your tactile sense and ability to express emotion more clearly.

The “Flamingo” — Stand on one foot as you do your standing exercises at the gym … be careful, though. Likewise, you can stand single-legged as you do daily routines such as washing dishes, shaving or any time you are on your device checking your Instagram, etc.

The “Walk” — Take a short walk and focus on 100 items around you and do the following: Name the item, describe its shape, color and material. Example: “Stop sign, hexagon, red, metal.”

The “Backward Alphabet” — Recite the alphabet backward. Gets easier each time!

Recite Poetry Verses, Passages or Phone Numbers — Stretch your memory’s capacity by recalling passages or numbers.  I memorize my most frequently used credit-card information … it comes in so handy!

Learn A Musical Instrument — If you already play a musical instrument, you are ahead of the curve … but take up something different. DJ-ing is also an art form that is very technical and uses sound or music in order to provoke a response from others … it’s not as robotic as you might think.

Recite The U.S. States in Order — Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana,  Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana,  Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

There are so many ways to keep your brain functioning by challenging it, and with good dietary choices. Let yourself be creative with the way you perform ordinary tasks. Remember that when you stop learning, you stop growing. And your brain function is the most important of all your organ functions, the one that will serve you the rest of your life.

Got any Neurobics exercises of your own? Send them to me and I’ll share it with our readers in the future.

Dr. Adrian Pujayana has been providing drug-free solutions for health and wellness to adults, athletes and youth since 2000 through his private practice at Family Chiropractic Center of South Pasadena, a place for strength training and nutrition-based health care. For comments or questions, email him at