I remember a few years ago (or maybe more than a few…) there was a sudden trend for ‘brain training’ exercises and games. As with most trends, it fizzled out after a while and now it seems no one is fussed about giving their brains a workout.
However, there are some very simple and cheap/free activities you can do to help you stay mentally sharp, boosting your memory, concentration and focus, and these simple tasks have been proven to be much more effective than brain training software!
Puzzles are a great way to exercise both sides of your brain – using logic and creativity. Because it’s a memory exercise, it also helps to improve short term memory and can reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s.
Some studies have shown that card games can improve both long and short term memory, concentration, and analytical skills. Challenging games such as solitaire, gin rummy and poker are the most effective for boosting your brain.
Doing calculations in your mind can be an effective way to exercise your mind. One exercise to try is to choose any 3-digit number, then add 3 to that digit 3 times. Then minus 7 from the new number 7 times. Repeat this process at least 5 times. This will strengthen your working memory because you’re holding details in your mind to complete it.
Additionally, it engages most if not all of your senses, which involves different parts of your brain. If you don’t want to take a class, you can simply try out new recipes at home to give your brain a workout.
Craft hobbies such as drawing, painting and knitting help to refine your fine-motor skills and give your brain a boost. They help to exercise your hand-eye coordination and improves your focus, concentration, psychological resilience and productivity.