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Brain Exercises for Seniors

Enhancing Cognitive Function Through Brain Exercises for Seniors

Numerous studies have shown the correlation between brain exercises for seniors and the maintenance and enhancement of cognitive function. While it sounds scientific, improving your brain power (0r neuroplasticity) is rather simple. It involves everyday activities that most of us have heard of already.

Whether you’re hoping to improve your memory or enhance your ability to process information quickly, there are a wealth of enjoyable activities and games you can do. You can do them as frequently as you choose in order to get your brain juices flowing. These activities may also help to prevent or reduce the symptoms related to Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

Change Up Your Routine

According to Joyce Shaffer, author of Neuroplasticity and Clinical Practice: Building Brain Power for Health, changing up your routine and stimulating your brain with novel activities are vital to enhancing cognitive function.

Luckily for us, there are a host of ways you can mix up your daily tasks to keep your brain on its proverbial toes. Keep your brain working and learning by trying different routes on your daily walks. You could try a new card game the next time you’re with your group of friends. Think about learning a new skill on the computer or even a new language. The trick is to never stop learning, no matter how big or small the task.

Get Your Game On

Remember that games aren’t only for children. In fact, there are an infinite amount of games available to adults. From card games, word games and mathematics games, all the way to board games, we’re spoilt for choice with enjoyable and easily accessible brain boosters. Do some investigations into what could interest you, and try out a few different games to see what sticks.

A card game such as bridge is the perfect way to learn a new skill that challenges your brain every time you play it. But if you’re not a fan of card games try out a more simple or solo game such as sudoku, and give the analytical side of your brain a daily challenge.

Enhance your literacy

Although reading is relaxing, it’s still working your brain. By taking in information and using your imagination to bring the words to life, you’re giving multiple parts of your brain a good workout. According to Stanford researchers, reading a novel for pleasure increases blood flow to the brain, while thinking about the value of the text is an effective cognitive exercise. If you’re still able to read, consider a membership at your local library and get into reading all types of genres that interest you.

If your eyesight is poor or your ability to hold a book is weak, ask a family member or friend to help. Otherwise, call on help from your aged care assistance services to find someone to read for you. Using your imagination to paint a picture of what’s being read to you still requires your brain to work.

Get Your Blood Flowing

The benefits of exercise can’t be understated. Your brain, just like any other organ, benefits from stimulation. Along with this comes an increased blood supply, exercise releases both serotonin and endorphins. These chemicals not only make us feel happy but, according to the Perth Brain Centre, also increase the chances of neurogenesis — the production of new brain cells. While doing exercise during our senior years is challenging, you can do whatever is manageable. The key is to get your blood flowing a little bit faster. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a gentle aqua aerobics class, or a few squats while holding onto a railing.

As we age, it gets more and more important to find ways to exercise our brains. By engaging in a weekly combination of the above, you can ensure you retain your memory and stave off any cognitive impairment, for as long as you possibly can.

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