With Alzheimer’s and dementia awareness at a peak, more middle-aged adults than ever are seeking ways to strengthen their brains to reduce the risk of memory decline in old age. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, observational studies and clinical trials have suggested that brain training activities may lower the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Evidence supports the conclusion that brain training can help seniors function better. However, more studies are needed to determine if brain training has any effect on a person’s likelihood of developing dementia. For now, it’s safe to say that brain training may carry benefits for those seeking to strengthen their mind and could potentially play a role in reducing the risk of memory decline.
10 Brain Training Activities for Developing a Strong Mind
Brain training activities are designed to challenge the mind and keep your brain healthy. But they can also help you pinpoint symptoms of cognitive decline such as having difficulty with abstract thinking or losing the words for things that you have always been able to identify. These warning signs can prompt you to visit the doctor who can run tests to find out if there’s anything to be concerned about.
Here are some of brain training activities that can help you keep your mind sharp as you age:
- Puzzle Games such as crosswords, Sudoku, and a Rubik’s cube can help stimulate different areas of the brain and challenge you to keep your recall abilities high.
- Computerized Brain Training is being tested in its early stages as a way to protect against dementia. This training is designed to increase the speed of visual processing which often declines with age.
- Strategy and Memory Games also show some promise in helping to prevent memory decline.
- Continually learning something new is an excellent way to challenge your mind. Learning a foreign language stimulates all parts of the brain and may lower the risk of developing memory problems.
- Playing with children has been connected to reduced stress, blood pressure, cortisol, and heart rate levels as well as lower rates of depression. Replacing depression with good moods helps preserve your brain’s higher functions.
- When is the last time you picked up a book to read for enjoyment? Reading offers you a low-stress way to keep your mind sharp.
- Exercise has long been known for its benefits to the mind and the body. That is why assisted living environments incorporate regular exercise for their residents.
- Gardening not only makes you feel good but you can also benefit from the nutrients in the soil, and Vitamin D from sun exposure, which is thought to have a positive effect on people who suffer from dementia.
- Small Detail Work requiring hand-eye coordination, such as knitting, is another way to help your brain retain information.
- Research is in its early stages, but music has been suggested as a way to combat dementia.
While many of the studies associated with brain training and reduced risk of memory decline are in their early stages, much evidence supports these theories. Not only are these activities being tested as ways to strengthen your mind, but many of them are activities that middle age and senior adults can enjoy on a regular basis. If you or your loved one are looking for ways to boost your brain power, this is a great list to start with. At Unlimited Care Cottages, we understand the importance of keeping your mind sharp. Contact us to learn more about how we promote brain health in our cottages.