Just like physical exercise, mental “exercise” is important. Mental activities can include doing puzzles, playing cards, reading books, going to lectures or concerts, or learning a new activity. These can be coupled with physical exercise such as learning new dance steps. Just like with physical exercise, there is no single “right” mental exercise. Social interactions are an important source of mental stimulation, and many activities can be done with friends or family members.
Here are some suggestions and activities to boost your brain:
- Cooking new recipes – helps connect steps, uses memory for measurements
- Singing – helps with recall and memory, also good for exercising your voice
- Word searches – helps with word identification
- Playing card games – relies on memory to recall rules and strategies
- Meditating – clears your mind and instills relaxation
- Word association games – match words in same category, helps retrain vocabulary
- Chess or other strategic games – uses memory to recall rules and strategies and uses body to move pieces
- Memory – Matching games – helps increase attention span
- Trivia games – rely on memory recall and reasoning skills to narrow down choices
- Reflex games – games using mind and body together preserves coordination. A good example is Simon.
This great article about keeping your brain healthy from our May/June 2022 newsletter has some great exercises, as well.