Did you know that playing games to stimulate your brain could help keep your mind sharp as you enter your sunset years? So the next time you start to feel a little guilty for playing that extra round of solitaire, cut yourself some slack. Games can exercise different sections of your brain, giving you a cognitive boost as well as some social interaction and plain old fun. So keep moving those thumbs, flipping those cards, and putting your brain to the test. Below you’ll find a list of our favorite games to stimulate your brain.
Games to Stimulate Your Brain
If you’ve ever played a game of chess with an experienced opponent, you probably know much brainwork goes into the challenge. This game exercises both sides of the brain. Since chess pieces have different shapes, players must utilize the brain’s left hemisphere, which deals with object recognition. The right side of the brain, which identifies patterns, also gets a workout during a heated game. Just like you need to exercise both sides of your body to get a good workout, you should also exercise both sides of your brain. Although more research needs to be conducted for confirmation, one study of 488 seniors by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that playing chess reduces the risk of dementia and alleviates its symptoms (source).
Waiting in lines, waiting for your dinner order, or waiting in the doctor’s office – no matter where you spend most of your time waiting, you can pass the time with smartphone or tablet games to stimulate your brain. One go-to app for those who want a good brain challenge is Luminosity. Scientists and game designers worked together to create this app that features over 60 games that awaken your brain’s cognitive function. This app comes with brainteasers, tricky puzzles, memory games, and more.
Howard Garns, a freelance puzzle inventor, created the modern game of Sudoku in 1979. After being published in the Dell Pencil Puzzles and Word Games magazine, Sudoku caught on like wildfire (source). In fact, you might even recognize the game from your local paper. This puzzle encourages you to think logically about where to arrange numbers in boxes within a grid. For those who aren’t math fans, never fear. This game involves numbers, but little to no math. You simply have to arrange the numbers one through nine in the boxes without repeating the same number in the sections of nine squares, columns, or rows. Just like crossword puzzle books, you can get Soduku books. You can also play the game online.
Other Mentally Straining Games
According to researchers at Harvard University, mental strain helps keep the brain healthy. They go on to say that any form of brain stimulation is better than none (source). So even if a game isn’t marketed as mentally stimulating, use your best judgment. If you feel challenged and engage in problem solving during the game, chances are it is providing you with a good brain workout. From puzzle games like Tetris to card games like Solitaire, engage in games that you find both enjoyable and a bit challenging.
Your brain isn’t technically a muscle, but it behaves a little bit like one. Just like your muscles, your brain needs exercise to stay at peak performance, so playing games to stimulate your brain can actually be a productive and fun way to spend your time.
At Springhouse Village, we understand the importance of living a social, healthy, and active lifestyle. That’s why we make it easy for our residents to be active participants in our community. Whether it’s encouraging our residents to enjoy the benefits of shopping at local farmers markets, providing places where they can practice and share their hobbies, or creating continuing education opportunities by connecting with local schools, we are continually striving to help our residents thrive. To learn more about the activities, amenities, and services we offer, contact Springhouse Village today.