Games and Activities That Help You Stay Mentally Sharp

  • January 29, 2020

Keeping your brain fit requires regularly giving it a good workout. Just like fitness is important for the rest of the body, activities that challenge the brain are essential for staying mentally sharp during retirement.

What activities and games stimulate the brain?

Here is a list of several you can explore.

Brain Aerobics: Exercises to Promote Better Cognitive Health

  1. Play card games: Playing cards with a group of friends or a game of solitaire on your own can provide your brain with the workout it needs. Games that challenge concentration, memory, and critical thinking are best. Bridge, poker, gin rummy, and blackjack fill those requirements. Even a game of Go Fish! with the kids works.
  2. Host a game night: Research shows board games stimulate the brain. Like playing cards with friends, the interaction adds another layer of brain-boosting benefits. You can schedule a game night to play chess, checkers, Scrabble, backgammon, or dominoes. When you are on your own, jigsaw or crossword puzzles might help, too.
  3. Take a class: Learning new things challenges the brain. A simple way is taking a class. Foreign languages, arts and crafts, cooking, or a writing workshop can feed the brain.
  4. Make music: Learning how to play a musical instrument is another activity that strengthens the brain. Check out your local senior center or community college to find inexpensive music classes.
  5. Put down the calculator: Instead of using a calculator, try mental math. Balance your checkbook the old-fashioned way each month. Keep a running tally in your head as you make your way through the grocery store.
  6. Engage in physical exercise: According to the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation, you can reduce your risk of developing a memory-related illness by as much as 50 percent by getting regular exercise. Engaging in at least 150 minutes of exercise each week is ideal. It should be a combination of cardio, flexibility, and strength training activities.

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