As the world rapidly becomes technologically advanced and everything is a touch of a fingertip away, we are becoming increasingly reliant on our devices and the internet.  Don't know how to get somewhere?  Use Google maps.  Can't remember how to spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?  Google will have the answer.  Don't know what that song is called?  Shazam it.

Although the technology today is made to be quick and convenient for the user, there is a trade-off.  Being reliant on the internet can accelerate the decline of our mental capability.  Luckily there are ways to boost our brain power which will take us back to our roots.

First of all, don't be afraid to test your mental abilities.  Push your brain to recall directions and try to actually remember and not give in so easily.  Testing yourself daily will improve your memory capacity and be somewhat stimulating when you reach your destination without needing Google maps.  This can also be applied to exams, memory games and in daily challenges.

Another way to boost your mental capabilities is by learning a language or musical instrument.  They rely on a large skill set which will improve your cognitive skills overall.  As you try new scales or practice unfamiliar words you will exercise many mental abilities such as memory, attention, sensory perception and motor control.  Pushing yourself should help you appreciate your current abilities.

Exercising your body is as important as exercising your mind.  Physical activity establishes a better blood flow to the brain and also triggers a surge in proteins such as 'nerve growth factor' that can help stimulate the growth and maintenance of neural connections in the brain.  Think of your body as a vehicle and your brain as an engine.  You won't be going anywhere if your vehicle is damaged!

One of the best ways to protect your brain is to socialise, we are social creatures after all.  Because of this we rely on our friends and relatives to stimulate us.  Through socialising we challenge ourselves to try new experiences, and also manage to relieve stress and unhappiness.  Don't neglect those around you, make the effort to free up some time and spend it with loved ones.

Lastly, and most importantly:  maintain a healthy diet.  This has been touched on in one of our previous posts, see Laura's blog here.  Remember the body being the vehicle and the brain being the engine?  Well, you guessed it, food is the fuel.  We need to eat the right food to provide our body with all the good nutrients to keep our engine running clean.  If you notice that you're blowing out black smoke, it may time to review your diet and start eating correctly.

So challenge yourself and get that brain working!  Stop Googling and instead, do a crossword with friends, switch to a healthier diet, try a new instrument or even get into sport.  Think about the possibilities to effectively exercise that brain of yours and you will thank yourself in the long run.