Just like we need to exercise to keep our muscles strong, our brain needs exercise to stay in shape. Thankfully you don’t have to go to your local gym for these workouts. Along with a healthy diet, “brain games” are a great way to keep you brain strong and ward off some of the risks that can lead to Alzheimer’s. Brain exercises or “brain games” can be broken down into 4 categories.
The first category being, memory & recall. Playing card games such as solitare, bridge, and even blackjack, can help with stimulate memory. Chess is another great game that helps boost short-term memory. Chess requires the player to constantly devise new strategies, this helps stimulate the players short term memory. Even a simple crossword puzzle or word jumbles are a great way to boost your ability to memorize and recall.
The second category is, attention & focus. Reading is a great way to relax at the end of the day, but it also helps your brain stay attentive and focused. If reading isn’t your thing you can also play memory games. These type of games force the brain to pay close attention to details. Not only do memory games help with attention span, but also with memory because these two are strognly linked.
The third categoty is cognition and problem solving. Playing games that involve numbers help the brain with problem solving.
Finally, the fourth category is, speed & reaction time. Surprisingly a great way to improve brain speed and reaction time is by playing video games. These games require the brain to be alert and ready for what may come next.
Keeping a sharp mind is a great step in preventing Alzheimers. You can use these fun games to exercise your mind or you can come up with your own, just like your muscles our brain stays strong the more we work it out.
For more information on this subject take a look at this article by Michael A. Smith, MD