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Senior Health & Wellness | July 23, 2013 | By Jonita Dixon

8 Brain Exercise Tips for Seniors

8 Brain Exercise Tips for SeniorsThere have been several studies conducted to prove whether or not brain exercises can help seniors in reducing their risk of developing dementia. Medical papers like the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology have published studies showing that rigorous cognitive exercise has a positive impact on the mental health of seniors. There are a number of ways you can keep your mind active and healthy, so that you can improve your chances of escaping mental conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Brain exercising tips for seniors

The key to building a strong and healthy mind is to use your brain. Since the brain is a thinking organ, thinking and learning are the best ways to exercise it. Picking up new skills and learning new things can keep your brain active. Try taking up new interests that will challenge your brainpower. For instance, your brain gets exercised when it works hard at attempting to learn a difficult task. Follow the steps below to help you exercise your brain:

  • There are several games that have been designed to sharpen thinking skills. Your local newspaper or magazine might have plenty of these games for you. Experts at the Geriatric Medicine Division of St. Louis University recommend playing crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and word searches.When reading mystery novels or watching suspense movies, make an attempt to solve the mystery before the experts do. Doing so will help in keeping your mind active and aware of your surroundings.
  • You can test your recalling ability by making a list of items or things to do. Memorize this list and then try to recall as many points as you can after an hour or two. Once you can easily recall most of the items of the list, you can progress further by making the list even more challenging and complicated.
  • Games like chess or checkers are also highly beneficial for sharpening your brain. Find someone to play it with or get a mobile application that lets you play online with other people.
  • Playing board games like Monopoly, Scrabble, and Pictionary with friends or family members can provide you with a combination of social interaction and mental stimulation.
  • Another way of exercising your brain is by testing and challenging your taste buds. During a meal, try to identify the ingredients that are added to your dish, including even the smallest amounts of spices and herbs.
  • A good method of keeping an active mind is to refine your hand-eye coordination. For this, you can try picking up a new skill that requires motor skills. These skills include activities like knitting, painting, drawing, and assembling puzzles, apart from many more.
  • To keep your brain active, you also need to challenge your memory. You can do this by trying to draw an area map of a new place that you recently visited. Trying performing this exercise every time you visit a new location.

Being socially active is also important for keeping your brain healthy and memory functioning properly.