There’s a lot of hype generated these days about the importance of regular exercise to keep our bodies healthy, and no-one would dispute that this is excellent advice. But what about our brain? How can we keep this vital organ fit? It’s really important to keep the brain active through all stages of life, but it’s not like we can give it a work-out at the gym. Luckily for us, there are plenty of simple, economical and fun ways to keep our grey matter in the pink.
Brain training vs brain games
According to neurologist Dr Kawashima, brain training exercises can help make our minds smarter, more agile and less susceptible to degenerative diseases later in life, like dementia. These brain training exercises have taken off in a big way over the past few years but might not be all they’re cracked up to be. You don’t need to commit to highly specialised brain training products to maintain a youthful brain.
Use it or lose it
French researchers recently discovered that children’s memories and brain power increased simply by playing family favourites such as Sudoku and Scrabble – something we game aficionados have known instinctively all along. And of course it’s never too late to start exercising your brain. Even the elderly can benefit from this gaming fountain of youth.
Make time to exercise
Some stubborn people claim they don’t have time to exercise their bodies, let alone their brains, but with such an amazing variety of games on the market to choose from, there’s really no excuse to let your brain waste away. There’s even a bathroom friendly, splash-proof version of Sudoku available, so you can improve on nature while answering the call of nature!
No fun no gain
I don’t subscribe to the “no pain no gain” fitness theory. Exercising should be fun – and brain exercise is no exception. Brain teasers like Rubiks Cube and Brainstring, Executive Labyrinth and Lock Mania are great solo challengers, but if you can get a few people together, the addictive Tantrix will give your collective brains a big boost. Of course there are plenty of other board games as well that can do the trick and provide hours of entertainment to boot.
My all time favourite fun-filled brain stimulating game is Cranium. The latest Wow Edition is an even better brain workout that floods your brain with feel good endorphins at the same time. Cranium works for me, but what game does it for you?