Physical fitness has been on top priority in order to stay healthy. While physical fitness is definitely important, intellectual fitness is equally necessary. Physical fitness can be achieved by regular exercises like endurance activities, resistance training, balance exercises, and flexibility exercises. Intellectual fitness involves exercises for your brain in order to stay mentally fit.
Intellectual Fitness or Cognified Fitness as it is called, involves a combination of physical and cognitive training. Your brain is trained to stay fit and healthy with the help of physical exercises which utilise your intellectual powers. To stay mentally sharp, and avoid neurological disorders like alzheimer’s, dementia as you age, you need to train your mind along with your body. While the elderly population are concerned about staying mentally fit, the younger generation tries to ‘gamify’ their exercise programmes to make it more fun and interesting. Tasks which involve several cognitive functions to work simultaneously while performing physical activities are included in cognified training.
Fun Ways to Include Cognified Training in your Exercise Regime –
1. Multi-tasking -
Multitasking has always been a skill performed by the highly intellectual crowd. Try dual-tasking which involves performing a physical activity along with an unrelated cognitive task.
Here are few examples.
- Walk while counting backwards from 100.
- Perform exercise set repetitions while naming words starting with the letter ‘K’.
- Carry out maths calculations or multiplication tables in your mind while jogging.
Your brain is filled with blood, oxygen, glucose and positive neurotrophins which enhance cognitive performance and improve your attention. The key element to be followed is that your exercise should be a moderate-to-vigorous intensity workout.
2. Clock Workout -
Imagine that the room is a huge clock and you are standing in the middle of the clock face. Let your trainer call out a time and you need to step or lunge towards that time on the clock. Return to your starting position quickly. You can also include variations like stepping with your left foot on even numbers and right foot on odd numbers or performing different movements for different times like a lunge for 12:00 or a jump squat for 3:00. For making it more complex, turn 90 degrees to your left and face 9:00 on the clock face.
Repeat the workout in the same manner. Now your spatial orientation has changed owing to which you would have to remember which side is the 12:00 mark and which side is the 6:00 mark. This workout helps enhance auditory, memory, reaction time, balance, dual-tasking, coordination and other neurological workouts based on the variables present and the way they are performed.
3. Simon Says -
Simon says has been an all-time favourite game played during childhood. Now how can you use this childhood game to increase your cognitive strength? Have someone become Simon and let that person give the commands that you need to perform. Simon will give one physical activity and a mental sum as a command.
E.g. Simon says 4+9 = jump those m any times. Now you have to calculate 4+9 = 13 mentally and then jump 13 times. Simon says 10-3 = squats. So mentally calculate 10-3 = 7 and do 7 squats. These are some of the easier low intensity workouts to enhance your cognition through exercise. It is necessary to understand that this is a new trend and the need for enhancing mental health with the help of physical exercise is still being research upon. The intricate connection between the physical activity and cognition can thereby improve your overall health.