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Keep Your Mind Fit with Brain Games

Keep Your Mind Fit with Brain Games

As we grow older, we tend to focus on maintaining our physical health which is very important. Another thing to focus on is your mental health and keeping your brain active and alert. Forgetfulness is a natural part of aging, but there are many things older adults can do to slow down the process, such as playing brain games. Keeping the brain active can be carried out through various avenues like memory games for improving memory, stimulating puzzles, or simply traditional card games. Brain games and puzzles serve as excellent mental exercises that can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and dementia, and they're a great way to improve problem-solving skills.

Brain Games

In addition to traditional game styles, research shows that interactive video games can significantly enhance cognitive health in older adults. The National Institute on Aging conducted a study with individuals between ages 60 and 80 using Angry Birds, Super Mario, and Solitaire. After only two weeks of playing these three games, recognition memory improved significantly. There are a plethora of brain games out there which can be both fun and beneficial for your brain!

  • Chess – Chess is a very strategic game which challenges the mind to predict plausible outcomes and think moves ahead.
  • Checkers – It’s easy to learn and fun for all. Checkers is similar to chess, but generally easier to understand. However, it remains a game which you must predict the moves of your opponent and figure out beneficial moves for yourself.
  • Sudoku – Puzzles are great for the mind, and Sudoku is one that helps keep your mind sharp and cognitive abilities running. It utilizes the frontal lobe which is responsible for manipulating sequences of numbers and letters.
  • Tetris – This brain game is a classic butrequires a computer or cell phone to play. Tetris challenges your intellectual instincts and gets more challenging as you progress.
  • Solitaire – Solitaire is a timeless brain game which can beplayed on the computer or in-person with your own cards. Solitaire trains your brain to notice patterns and gives your memory a good workout.
  • Crossword – Arguably the easiest game on the list to obtain, crossword puzzles have been a staple when it comes to brain games and can be found simply by purchasing a newspaper.
  • Scrabble – Scrabble not only can introduce you to new words, but it’s also good for digging deep into your memory to find words that you may have forgotten about, that are still present in your memory bank.
  • Word Search – Perfect for rainy days or long car rides, Word searches challenge your brain by reviewing a page full of letters and deciphering them into words in different orders such as diagonally, upside down and sideways.

Stay Active for Brain Health

In addition to playing brain games, remaining active is important for your brain. In fact, recent data has shown that regular aerobic training may offset or prevent age-related cognitive decline in older adults who are at increased risk for Alzheimer’s. Whether it’s going for a walk or participating in an exercise class, physical activity is important for maximizing brain function and improving overall health.

For members of Florida Health Care Plans, there are several ways to remain active and keep your brain healthy. FHCP offers weekly classes for events such as “Active Fit” which has members move and groove to the music while increasing cardiovascular and muscular endurance with heart healthy, low impact aerobics.

Another great event is our BAM class hosted by senior fitness specialist, Artie G. The class allows for developing balance, coordination, core strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Both classes are free for FHCP members and great for cognitive health. To find the next class, visit the FHCP Event Calendar.

About Florida Health Care Plans

Florida Health Care Plans serves our community with over 9,000 local health care providers in Flagler, Volusia, Seminole, Brevard, and St. Johns counties. Our Care Centers are designed with convenience and comfort in mind, whether you are visiting your family doctor, getting an X-ray, or utilizing our cost-effective, members-only pharmacies.

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