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Brain Games: Techniques to help you stay mentally sharp

When we talk about being in good health, we are not only referring to our physical conditioning. Mental wellbeing is just as important as physical fitness when maintaining a healthy lifestyle at any stage of life.

That maintenance, however, becomes even more critical in our later years when the signs of dementia and depression appear. Staying physically and mentally fit allows us to fully enjoy our golden years.

Studies indicate seniors can improve brain function by stimulating their minds. If you feel your cognitive skills, such as your attention span or processing speed, are slipping, consider this a great time to sharpen your mental health with brain training.

While we stretch, walk and do other exercises to keep our bodies in shape, there are also many fun and challenging ways to make sure our minds stay sharp.

Start by evaluating the health of your brain. Online testing, such as Lumosity.com, will estimate your “brain age” based on how you score in memory games and speed tests. The Lumosity program, which was created by scientists and game designers, has over 50 cognitive games to test and measure your mental health.

Ready to go? Here are four ways to keep your brain sharp.

On your computer.

Online programs can be simple, quick and easily accessible from your home computer. There are many online games designed to stimulate your mind; find the one that makes it fun for you to exercise your brain!

In your community.

Socialization is a great way to keep your mind young. Enjoy the company of your friends and neighbors at recreational and community events, such as bingo or paint night. A stimulating experience tied in with a social event can benefit your brain health. Playing cards, chess, checkers and trivia games are also great ways to keep your mind sharp while having fun with friends and neighbors.

With your family.

Activities such as puzzles and board games are also great to play with your grandchildren and family members. They’re fun, free and create memories of you that your grandkids will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Find games that make you and the kids be creative and imaginative. It’s another great way to stimulate the brain!

Anywhere you go!

Anyplace can provide stimulus. Take in the sights, the sounds and the smells. Visit a museum, attend a concert or festival, or begin an art project; it doesn’t always have to be a game as long as you are stimulating all of your senses.

Whether you take a walk-and-talk with friends to stretch your legs and share stories about your families, or do a crossword puzzle in quieter moments, finding ways to stimulate your mind will help you stay mentally fit.

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