Staying active is a key ingredient in the quest to stay healthy, especially as you get older.
Not just physical activity but also vitally important you regularly engage in cognitive and social activities.
While it feels nice to completely relax and do nothing for a little while, using your leisure time to engage in cognitively stimulating activities is a fantastic way to boost your brain health. This can include creative activities such as painting, writing, or playing music. It can also include activities such as reading, doing puzzles, or playing games.
This well-known puzzle game is a fantastic way to engage your brain.
Although it’s a number-based game, it doesn’t require complex math. But it will give you a fun opportunity to practice logical thinking, deductive reasoning, and problem-solving.
Sudoku puzzles appear to be especially helpful for exercising your grammatical reasoning and episodic memory, two cognitive domains closely associated with age-related cognitive decline.
A classic game that has been around for centuries, chess is a great way to work out your brain.
It requires strategic thinking, planning ahead, and the ability to think abstractly.
Studies have even found it to be a helpful tool for protecting against the development of dementia.
Chess is also a social activity, providing you with a pleasant way to spend some time with friends or family.
Another popular puzzle game, crosswords, is a great way to engage your brain.
Crosswords require you to recall information from your long-term memory and think creatively to come up with words that fit the clues.
This combination of thinking skills makes crosswords an excellent brain workout.
For people diagnosed with dementia, crossword puzzles can potentially delay the onset of memory decline and other symptoms.
Although they often get a bad rap, video games might actually be quite good for your brain.
It depends on the game, but gameplay often involves some degree of multiple-object tracking, peripheral attention, high perceptual load, and hand-eye coordination, often at high speeds and with some unpredictability.
This can result in improved attention, working memory, and visuospatial processing.
However, some valid concerns are that overuse could lead to altered social behavior, increased loneliness, reduced attention control, and depressive moods.
Many video games are now being explicitly designed with cognitive health in mind so that these may minimize the risks.
Any Game With Friends
Any game you can play with friends or family is a great way to stay socially active, which is essential for maintaining cognitive health.
And it doesn’t have to be a complex game—even something as simple as cards or checkers can be an excellent way to socialize and have fun. Sharing experiences and connecting with others through games will help to reduce your stress levels, improve your mood, and keep your brain active and engaged.