Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Get The Most Out of Your Down Time

Rainy day and nothing good to read? Downtime at work?  Maybe you're not as self-absorbed as I am and subsequently you don't think other people like reading your boring ultra-running blog ;) What can you do to stay healthy or fit?

 I've already talked about the need to get off your keesters(did you know that the singular of keesters is keister? Weird) while at work. Those exercises, which also can be done at home, help your body but what about your mind? Instead of watching another Cat Fancy video, maybe try to do something that actively engages your mind. Learn a new language, take a free class or just do some puzzles that exercise your mind.

I've listed a few websites that might help keep that brain healthy and active which you can pick up at your leisure (I wonder if the plural is leesures, yee' sures).

Learn Just About Anything:
Coursera: Coursera partners with colleges and offers online courses on pretty much any subject for free. I've taken a nutrition class from University of Pittsburgh, Global Health from University of Copenhagen, and an exercise physiology course from University of Melbourne. It's not just for health professions either. There's a huge variety of classes on so many different topics. The classes combine video lecture, reading assignments, and graded quizzes. You get a certificate of completion if you get above a set grade for the class. For that it's free but if you want a verified one, I think it's something like $39. But you can learn for free.

Learn a Foreign Language
Duolingo: A great site to learn a foreign language. It's a great place for very beginner learners to start to recognize words visually as well as auditorily and can be done at your own pace. As far as I'm aware, it is totally free and has almost 20 languages to choose from. It certainly hasn't helped my horrible pronunciation of words but has helped me recognize and understand a little more.

Play a Game
I used to really like Lumosity but it seems that they have started to charge a fee to use it. For $6,70/month it's probably still worth it, but I bet you can find many of the puzzles online for free. While I haven't explored it much, Knowledge Adventure seems to have some similar games(but not created specifically for you) The nice thing about this is that it diversifies the challenges with many different game options. The problem with most games is that there becomes a time where they're no longer novel and your mind can do them on auto-pilot. It's no longer stimulating it to improve and develop new neural pathways. "If you don't use it, you lose it". Keep on changing the types of games and you should be good.

Watch a Video
I know, I know. I made fun of your kitten viewing problem earlier in this page, but some videos are good. Look up how to tie a bowline, play guitar, or maybe just use it for some guided meditation with Jon Kabat-Zinn.  Or you could go to TED talks, where you will find a plethora of interesting topics to pique your interest.
Or you could watch the funny part of Ted, when Mark Wahlberg is listing all the trashy girls' names... Luckily that's only a minute or so, so you'll still have time for other things ;)

Inch a Little Further Down the Rabbit Hole
Okay, so everyone has been on wikipedia. Here's the hyperlink challenge: Type in anything you're somewhat interested in. Now read about said topic. Come across something you haven't heard of? Click on the hyperlink. Repeat. Continue until you develop a decubitus ulcer or until you have come to a page that you know everything on it already.

Alright, have fun!

No comments:

Post a Comment