Four Ways to Give Your Brain a Workout
Monday, January 30, 2023
The word crossword might conjure up an image of a grandfather sitting around the kitchen table with a cup of joe, a newspaper and a pencil. Does that crossword help keep his mind sharp? Well, that’s still up for debate. Although study results have been mixed, most researchers agree that our brain needs exercise like our body. Brain games can’t hurt us, and they’re less smelly than going to the gym. Here are five ways to give your brain a workout:
1. Keep learning new skills
Whether it’s a new type of brain game or learning how to quilt, the Synapse Project study published in Psychological Science found that learning new skills helped the memory of older adults.
2. Play around with number puzzles
A study published in 2019 in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that number puzzles can help with things like attention, reasoning and memory, even in adults with dementia.
3. Try complex and challenging things – and keep practicing
According to Harvard Health, a complicated puzzle or challenging brain game fits the bill. You can also take a challenge you already enjoy and turn it up a notch. If you are a golfer, take a swing at a more challenging course. Knitter? Stitch a new pattern. Studies show these challenges will sharpen your thinking.
4. Tackle that word puzzle
According to the online PROTECT study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry in 2018, older folks who completed a word puzzle a day showed better cognitive skills than those who did not often do puzzles.
5. Experiment with brain teasers – and involve your children
Brain games are not just for the elderly. A recent study published in the International Journal of Environmental and Science Education found that brain teasers can even help young kids increase their attention span.
You don’t need fancy gadgets or the latest app to keep your mind sharp. Weave some new and challenging puzzles, brain games and crosswords into your day-to-day life, and you might notice your memory or thinking skills improve. At the very least, you had some fun.