Brain exercises are the latest buzz. Why should you exercise your brain? Research into the brain as it ages, points towards the brain being like a muscle in your body. If you don't use your brain and challenge it, the functions deteriorate.
The brain starts to lose its capabilities after about the age of 30! Pretty scary! However, if you look after your brain, actively engage and challenge it, these losses can usually be reversed and the results maintained.
Most of us do use it. . . . However, I know I am guilty of not keeping my brain in tip top condition. So what can I do today to get my brain back on track?
There are of course many factors that contribute to overall brain health such as general health, nutrition, stress, environment, sleep and many more. This article is about what options are available for keeping your brain active using brain exercises.
Printed Puzzles, Games and Brain Exercises
You can do some really simple things like checking the back of your daily newspaper for:
- Crossword puzzles
- Brain Teasers
- Picture Puzzles
Specialized books with collections of puzzles are also a popular choice. The key is to do it regularly.
All of these things help keep your brain active in slightly different ways. I know that when I stopped doing a daily crossword regularly I was shocked to pick one up and find how slow I was at solving it. In our busy lives we just find it hard to keep doing these things.
Nintendo DS based Brain Training Games and Exercises
A couple of years ago Brain Training on Nintendo DS took the world by storm. Many parents bought these games for their children but became hooked on improving and maintaining their own brain age! Brain Training and Big Brain Academy (another game available for Nintendo DS) are firm favorites in our household, but they have their limitations - the major one for me was regular access to the Nintendo and also that my kids could check out my brain age!
Computer Based Software Programs
Software programs are available for your computer. They can be purchased and installed or downloaded from the internet. The choice of these comes to personal preference. Usually these programs cover only one aspect of brain exercises or cater to specialized areas such as those with brain injuries. They are generally fairly expensive.
To maintain your brain function you have to keep repeating the same games and programs. After an initial flurry of activity, I found it hard to make them a habit.
Online Brain Exercise Programs
Online Brain Exercise Programs fall into two categories - free and paid subscriptions.
There are some pretty good games out there that you can access for free online. Some of these free brain exercises are just games, some seem to have some science behind them and there are yet others that are likely to become paid subscriptions in the future but are currently in beta testing.
Generally, free games are not structured but can be great fun - whilst the paid subscriptions have varying degrees of structure and feedback.
The paid brain exercise programs have a few differences. Most allow you to try the games without the program or feedback or offer a free trial period. Everyone has different tastes. Although I like a challenge I don't want to feel stressed, plus they take different amounts of time, so you have to factor that into your usage.
What Will You Do?
How will you use it? Or will you lose it?
There really is no excuse for not exercising your brain by:
- using a paper based game
- taking advantage of some of the free brain games out there on the internet
- subscribing to a brain training program that guides you through like a personal trainer.
The key is to work out which type is going to fit into your lifestyle regularly and make a long term difference to your grey matter.
Do your brain a favor today - Challenge it whilst having fun!
Hope Wynns is a freelance writer who contributes to the Brain Training Blog at http://braintraining.product-review-and-information.com Hope has an interest in personally keeping her brain fit and active and is constantly researching practical ways to do that whilst fitting in with a hectic lifestyle. More Brain Exercises Tips from Hope