With a history of Alzheimer’s in our family, I’m fascinated by research in the area of Alzheimer’s and brain development. The way the brain works is truly amazing, and like our muscles, using it actually strengthens it.
Each time you learn something new or stretch yourself to solve a puzzle, you actually create new connections in your brain, and the more interconnected the neurons become, the better it functions. This not only reduces the risk and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia, but it also improves memory and creativity.
Like other types of exercises, it’s important to do a variety of activities that strengthen memory, problem solving, speed thinking, etc. There are sites like Luminosity.com that provide activities specifically for strengthening your brain and create a plan for you to ensure that you’re doing a wide range of activities.
While I see benefits of that type of structure, I’ll admit that I probably wouldn’t pay for a membership because there are plenty of ways to do it yourself without a formal plan, including the activities listed below:
- Sudoku & other logic puzzles
- Crossword puzzles & other word games
- Memory games
- Math games
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Typing games
Physical activity also strengthens your brain, so don’t discount the benefits of playing tennis, jump roping or even playing hide and go seek with your kids!
Although I don’t spend a ton of time playing games on my iPad, I am glad to know that games like Cut the Rope and Brickshooter Egypt are more than just a guilty pleasure!
Do you make time for activities that strengthen your brain? What’s your favorite game?
Featured Image by Steve Snodgrass – Flickr.com