Even though the brain isn’t a muscle, it can be exercised to better health. However the debate rages on. At least for some, right Pocahontas? What type of “workout” gives the brain more bang for the buck? Here we will compare the best games for brain health.
Of course, brain games can be any activity that stimulates one’s thinking. Sudoku, Crosswords and Concentration are common games people play by themselves. Scrabble and Chess are games people play with others. Learning to play and instrument or speak a foreign language also stimulates one’s thinking. However, is the stimulus enough to make a significant impact in warding off signs of memory loss or dementia?
While the long-term benefits have yet to become clear, a study on skills that wane with age, published in the November 2016 International Psychogeriatrics, show that brain games may help sharpen processing speed, planning skills, reaction time, decision making and short-term memory.
Furthermore, these games seem to especially benefit older men. Since the study consisted of geriatrics, many of those who participated were out of the work force and had ceased to use as much thinking power as they did when employed. The women seemed to have less decline because their daily activities didn’t change as much over the years as the men’s had.
“Good heart health translates to better brain health,” says Dr. Julie Brody-Magid, clinical director of the memory Disorders Assessment Clinic at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital. According to her research, she prescribes not smoking; limiting alcohol, following the MIND Diet; doing cardiovascular exercise regularly and managing stress.
A new study in rats has shown that weight lifting can reverse symptoms of age-related memory loss. As the cognitively impaired test rats were harnessed with weights and moved within their environment, the excess “stress” put on their central nervous system produced new neurons that reversed their “aging process”.
Which are the best games of brain health? Well, according to the research, it seems that it is a combination of the mind, body and soul (heart).
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