10 Activities To Strengthen Your Memory
As more and more research goes into brain health, researchers have found it is possible to exercise the brain to help stave-off the effects of dementia. In fact brain training can actually help avoid the on-set of dementia in the first place.
What Is Brain Training?
Even though the brain is not a muscle it needs a good workout much in the same way. Brain training is actually playing games which help improve and strengthen the neural pathways. By giving the brain a challenge you can help your mind retain and improve its processing ability. There are five core skills which can be helped with brain training: concentration, thought processing, memory, problem solving, and mental flexibility. The following activities can help these skills:
Board Games—Board games are a great way to give the brain a good workout. The social interaction with family and friends also helps encourage overall well-being.
Card Games—From solitaire to bridge, card games are good for the brain. Depending on the game, cards are excellent for keeping memory strong and the brain flexible.
Puzzles—Crosswords, Sudoku, and even jigsaw puzzles help the brain strengthen neural pathways and help keep problem solving abilities sharp.
Video and Online Games—These types of games help preserve the brain’s processing speeds and problem solving abilities. Even seniors who are not tech savvy can learn to use simple games rather quickly.
Music—Singing a song or playing an instrument involve complex processing which forces the brain to function in multiple areas simultaneously.
Cooking—This is an activity which engages the whole brain. From following a recipe to using all five senses, cooking is a great mental workout. Learning a new type of cuisine or even taking a class can help challenge the brain of even the best cook.
Math—Doing math in your head is a wonderful way to keep your neurons firing strong. Math problems or other number games are also very effective.
Fine Motor Activities—Fine motor skills might not come immediately to mind but any time you can engage the brain with hand to eye activities like drawing or painting you are helping your brain remain strong.
Gross Motor Activities—Any time you can engage brain-body coordination such as with yoga or dancing you increase your brain and body power. Learning a new sport or activity keeps the brain in top form and offers an additional benefits which help mobility and physical strength.
Life-Long Learning—Seniors who continue to challenge themselves to learn new information are giving their brain every opportunity to stay strong and pliable. Group educational opportunities are also excellent for socialization.
The brain needs work. It is not designed to be idle. However as adults age there is naturally fewer opportunities for the brain to receive the same stimulation it did when it was younger. Therefore focusing on brain training activities as an important component to senior health is essential.