As you age and grow old, so too your organs. To get them to work effectively you need to constantly exercise them. That is true with the brain too. Memory loss is a direct result of aging. To stay alerted and sharp and to avoid great memory loss you could consider exercising your brain or memory games. Brain training helps to reduce memory loss to a large extent.
Memories are of 3 types.
1) The “working memory” is that which records current events of the last 15 seconds.
2) The “short term memory” consists of events registered in the last few minutes.
3) While “long term memory” has events registered lifelong.
To keep the memory strong you need to stimulate it by playing memory games. Thus brain training exercises, as well as games for the brain, do help. But there is a difference between the two. Brain games are games you play for fun. It is like you going outside and playing some outdoor games. This kind of activity is fun and stimulates your brain. But to see results with respect to brain health, brain training would be required. Brain training is like going to a gym for the brain. It improves the cognition capabilities for the individual. But is not one solution for everything. Depending upon what brain training activity you undertake you develop only those specific skills. Thus there are varied views on whether memory games or brain training exercises are really helpful or not.
Read on to find out how to improve memory…
Some of the memory games are challenging and can keep you occupied for hours. They satisfy your intellectual hunger and give you a feeling of satisfaction at the end of it.
This is a number puzzle and found to be featuring in the newspapers everyday. It helps to destress and exercises your brain. It improves the brain speed which can be then seen in your daily activities. People of all ages can play this game to remain alerted and sharp.
The puzzle consists of grids which are 3×3 in size. Hence each grid, column and row can contain numerals 1 to 9 only once. The puzzle would come with some of the cells filled up. You need to fill in the remaining cells such that a number appears only once in the same grid, same column and same row. There are different levels of Sudoku. For a beginner, you can start with the “easy” level and then move on to “advanced” levels.
2. Crossword Puzzles
Doing a crossword is an old past time activity. Though it does not exercise any cognition skill, it tests your memory and vocabulary. Some people get addicted to doing crosswords on a daily basis. Thus they are able to keep away from day to day worries. It improves the social, physical, emotional and mental well-being of the person. One can raise the bar up after playing a couple of times by going in for a cryptic or advanced level of crosswords. Solving crosswords in a group can be a fun time together and helps to strengthen social bonds. You could improve your usage of words and learn new words too in the process.Trying to finish a crossword as fast as possible helps to increase the speed of thinking and analyzing. It helps to starve off the build up Beta-amyloid which is a toxic protein in the brain which is seen in people suffering from Alzheimer’s.
3. Brain Teases/Puzzles
Brain teasers expand your thinking and help you to analyze information. With the knowledge, you already have you can put it to good use. It includes riddles and puzzles. Riddles include questions which you need to answer. For this, you might need some background knowledge of general knowledge, common sense and concepts of science and mathematics. They raise the curiosity of the individual and might have some hidden secrets in them. Puzzles could be a toy, game or problem which needs the ingenuity to solve. Sometimes it would call for thinking out of the box with an unconventional mode of thinking. Engaging board games make good family time. They provide relaxation for family members and some together time. They relieve stress and gain mental balance. Risks of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s are found to be surely reduced by engaging in such activities.
There are a number of websites which have brain games in which you could engage in. Some offer free memory games while others expect a payment. Since many of the games online may be designed without any scientific support, there is no guarantee that they will surely exercise your brain. Anyway if you want to have fun you could engage yourself with one of these sites.
4. Brain Training
Brain training is a more serious activity. This has a lot of relevance for people suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s or any other mental illness which handicaps their mental faculty. It is aimed at improving your cognition capabilities. It is akin to doing exercises for your body. So it certainly does work for people with weak mental skills. It helps the brain to learn, read, think and remember things.
Some of the advantages of brain exercises are listed below.
- Increased positive moods
- Improved memory function
- Alert while seeing and listening
- Thinking faster and reacting faster
- Increased amounts of focus and concentration
- Increased self-confidence
- Helps in higher productivity and motivational levels
5. Brain Training Games
When we keep doing mundane routine stuff the brain is not exercised and it is like leading a sedentary life. To give a boost to your brain you could engage in the following activities
- Meditation is found to boost your mental energy levels. It definitely helps in better focusing and higher concentration levels.
- Looking at things upside down. For example, you could wear your watch upside down. Every time you need to check your time you really have to concentrate and focus on it to get the time.
- Normally you do tasks with your right hand. Try using your left hand instead.
- Doing your physical exercise every day. It could be just walking, jogging, skipping, cycling or whatever. Exercise enables the generation of feel-good chemicals in the brain. This reduces stress for you.
- Socializing helps you to mix with a lot of different people and enables you to get varied views about things. This exposes you to new ideas and makes you think.
- Keep trying new things. Take up a new hobby. Do creative stuff and keep improving.
- Try to engage in activities where you might need to use all your 5 senses. This will be some sort of multitasking and peaks your brain performance.
- Try doing things with your eyes closed. You could try combing your hair or wash dishes. This method opens new neural paths in the brain.
- While on a walk or on the way to office try using new routes. This will force you to think of alternatives and the pros and cons with the same.
- Engage in a number of online brain training exercises. Some of them aid in enhancing of cognition skills like hearing, memorizing and thinking.
Don’t miss to read about how to keep the brain healthy and increase memory power!
The brain is a fascinating organ in the human body. Nobody has been able to understand it completely. It is only by observation and doing things people have come to a lot of conclusions. Engaging yourself in memory games and memory exercises is seen to reduce risks due to dementia by 68%. So it is high time we engaged ourselves in some thoughtful activity.