Play Brain Games

Games like crosswords and Sudoku are increasingly gaining recognition as ways to protect your brain in older age. Although additional research is needed and a causal relationship hasn’t been established, older adults who regularly play number and word games have shown brain function up to a decade younger than their age on memory tests. Just like muscles, you can use or lose brain function! Brain exercise is an important part of a comprehensive wellness program.

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, a time to acknowledge a disease nearly six million Americans live with today. There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, but there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk. Try following the MIND Diet, an eating pattern rich in nutritious foods that can reduce Alzheimer’s risk by 53% when followed closely. Reaching a minimum of 2 ½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week can reduce your risk too. You’ll know it’s moderate-intensity when your heartbeat and breathing gets faster. Exercise helps prevent, but not treat, cognitive decline by increasing blood flow to the brain, which helps to maintain and regrow nervous tissue in the hippocampus (the brain’s memory region). You can also take care of your mind by flexing your mental muscles! Brain-stimulating activities are available for free online and can even help improve mood and lower stress. Try some of the resources below:

Brain training games to try:

Brain training smartphone apps (search Google Play or the App Store):

  • Elevate
  • Lumosity
  • Peak: Flexible Training and Tracking
  • CogniFit Brain Fitness
  • Personal Zen
  • Happify
  • Fit Brains Trainer
  • Eidetic

 

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