Boost Your Brain Health by Playing Games
Keeping your brain active with puzzles and games is not only important to your cognitive health, it’s fun!
According to the Cleveland Clinic, “Mental exercise is just as critical as physical exercise in keeping your brain fit and healthy. Like your muscles, you have to use your brain or you lose it.”
Studies have revealed that playing games of various types can have a wide range of positive effects on your cognitive health. Playing games…
- Can help to increase focus, concentration, and memory.
- May promote new brain cell growth.
- May reduce or slow the development of dementia.
There are many different types of games that are great for boosting your brain health – some you can play on your own, and others you can play with family or friends. Here are some suggestions…
Crossword puzzles – The Washington Post has a free daily crossword puzzle you can complete online or print it out to complete with a pencil. Click HERE to try today’s puzzle.
Word searches – I love gifting word search books at my Medicare events in the community. You can find these books at any bookstore or dollar store, as well as online. Click HERE to visit The Word Search website with hundreds of puzzles & the option to even make your own!
Wordle – One of my favorite daily brain games! In this free online game offered by the New York Times, you’ll have 6 chances to guess the day’s 5-letter word. You do not have to sign up for a user account to play. Give it a shot by clicking HERE.
Brain game apps – There is a plethora of free brain game apps for your smartphone. One of my favorites is Lumosity, a brain training program. First, download the app from your phone’s app store, and then create a free account so it can keep track of your results. Next, you’ll complete a short Fit Test to create a baseline in 3 cognitive games. Then play it each day, as you’ll receive a few personalized games to help build you cognitive skills. It’s fun, proven effective and used by millions of people!
Others: Solitare, Sudoku, or learn the algorithm required to solve a Rubix Cube!
Games with Others
Chess – Chess is one of the oldest games in the world, and it’s fantastic for exercising both sides of your brain. Healthline reported that “researchers found evidence that the game, which challenges memory, calculation, visual-spatial skills, and critical thinking abilities…” While you can play chess on apps and websites, I feel chess is a game best played in person! Who can you challenge to a good game of chess?
Card games – Card games are great for exercising your brain’s processing speed, concentration and memory. The University of California, Berkeley, even found that playing bridge engages the part of the brain that stimulates the immune system!
Board games – Play games like Scrabble, Backgammon, Clue, and even Bingo with friends, so you will benefit from the social interaction with others while you exercise your brain.
Jigsaw puzzles – Puzzles require creativity, intuition and logic and exercise both the right and left sides of the brain simultaneously. While you can do a puzzle alone, it makes a great family activity, especially during the holidays! There are some beautiful seasonal puzzles out there. Stop by the game section of a local Target or order one online at Amazon.
Ideas for Getting into the Habit of Playing Games
• Set a daily reminder on your smartphone to play a game, such as Wordle or a crossword puzzle. Enjoy a morning cup of coffee while trying to figure out the day’s word or puzzle.
• Set out a jigsaw puzzle and work on it a little bit every day. Have another puzzle lined up for when you solve the current one. If you complete a puzzle you particularly love, you can frame it and display it on your wall!
• Join a club or group that meets regularly to play a game – See if your local area has opportunities to regularly gather with others to play a good game of chess, cards or board games! You can inquire at your local library, church, community center or even community colleges for leads.
• Start a game night with family or friends! Can’t find a game-playing group? Form your own! Make it fun by adding healthy snacks to the mix. Play the same game each week, such as a card game, or mix it up every time you meet.
• Play games with the grandkids – When the kids come over for a visit, pull out a game or two to play together!
Who knew that improving brain health could be so FUN?
Be sure to check back next month for another great cognitive health tip!
Have Medicare questions? I am here to help you! Contact me at 912-269-4755 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or send me a message thought my website HERE, and we will set up a personal consultation. My services are complimentary. I look forward to helping you!