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How To Stay Smart Over The Summer: 5 Strategies For Maintaining Cognitive Skills
If you’re a student and you take 2-3 months off, you’re going to lose brain power. This is why you would always have to review for the first few weeks when you went back to school when you were younger. You needed to get back into the groove. Not that school is groovy or anything, but you know what I mean. If school were to be groovy and you wanted to be like John Travolta on the dance floor, then the five tips below will definitely help you get there.
Prior to reading on, I know you don’t want to be like John Travolta on the dance floor. Let’s go with Usher. Yeah!
Sounds boring, doesn’t it? Who wants to read books during the summer? But if reading books sounds boring to you, then you’re reading the wrong books. This is what happens. Someone comes along and tries to be knowledgeable. They want to sound like they’ve ‘Been There, Done That.” Be wary of these folks, even when it comes to reading. The following is going to be what they tell you…
Mr. BTDT (Been There Done That) says: “You need to read The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Moby Dick, The Catcher in the Rye, or To Kill a Mockingbird.”
If you ever meet this person and they recommend those books, they are boring. I can’t possibly put it any simpler. To Kill a Mockingbird isn’t terrible, and The Cather in the Rye has its moments, but do you really think those are going to be highly entertaining standout books out of the millions of books that have been written since then? Not a chance! This person doesn’t read a lot. They just pretend to read a lot.
If you want to maintain your cognitive skills during the summer by reading, check out Say Nothing (true crime story that is actually solved), Trust Exercise (twists like you wouldn’t believe), Looker (we’ve got a stalker!), Alone Time (no need for relationships), and The Thirteenth Tale (gothic suspense novel).
Learn A Musical Instrument
Have you ever noticed that the kids who played musical instruments were usually good students? That’s not a coincidence. Learning a musical instrument significantly boost your cognitive skills. You will also enjoy this because you can get creative after you learn the basics.
Cognitive learning involves comprehension, organizing ideas, applying knowledge, as well as choice and evaluation. All of these apply to puzzles. Working on puzzles also helps your fine-motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and memory.
Learn A New Language
Learning a new language activates new parts of your brain. Studies have proven that people who learn a new language perform better in attention and concentration tests.
Exercise increases the flow of oxygen to the brain. Therefore, your brain is going to work better. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), you should exercise a minimum of 150 minutes of per week. That’s not a lot of minutes, and you can keep it moderate. This will still help flow of oxygen to the brain.
A study of 144 people aged 9-93 showed that as little as 15 minutes of moderate exercise on a stationary bike improves cognitive function and memory across all age groups. Another study showed that 20 minutes of yoga improves speed and accuracy on memory tests.
The following is a fact that might stick with you when it comes to exercise and cognitive function: Exercise helps stimulate the production of growth hormones, which helps create new brain cells. Instead of going to a store and buying something new that you want, you can exercise to acquire new brain cells. What can possibly be more valuable than that?
The title to this article might have been misleading. If you follow the five steps here, you haven’t maintained your cognitive skills over the summer, you have improved them.
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