Resting your brain is the key to regaining your mental power. If you want to optimise the effect of your sun holidays and return to school, university or work even more intelligent, you can combine relaxing on the beach with some of these simple and fun exercises.
1. Listen to the locals. Learning a new language is the most well-known method of increasing one’s brain power. Of course you don’t have to be able to speak Spanish or Turkish after a week on the beach. Even trying to pick up a few words by reading all the foreign signs, eavesdropping on the locals and imitating radio announcements will do your brain a world of good.
2. Use a map instead of your satnav. Though a GPS can be very handy when you’re utterly lost, reading a map and finding your own way in an unfamiliar area is a valuable mental exercise.
3. Play table tennis. Table tennis improves your eye-hand coordination and your attention span while you are focusing on the ball. So if you come across a table tennis table during your holidays, challenge your loved ones to a game!
4. Don’t avoid the maths. Every time you buy something in a shop or a restaurant, try to calculate or estimate how much you are going to have to pay. You can turn this into a game by encouraging the other members of your family to do the same and trying to be quicker and more accurate than them. If you are in a country with a foreign currency, you can introduce another element to it: converting the price to pounds!
5. Break your routines. Your holidays will be much more exciting and memorable if you don’t run on auto-pilot. Tickle your brain by finding new ways to do things. Even using your other hand to comb your hair or brush your teeth will increase your general level of alertness.
Play noughts and crosses in the sand. Even playing simple puzzles and games strengthen the connections between nerve cells in the brain.