Just like a good walking program or a water aerobics class can help you stay physically fit, brain aerobics can help enhance your mental fitness. So what can you do to give your brain a real workout?
The experts from the Heritage Senior Communities share a few ideas to help Michigan caregivers and their aging parents:
- Learn something new. Tackling anything that is different from your normal routine helps to stimulate your brain. Foreign language DVDs are a quick and easy way to get started. Artistic pursuits may also be a good fit for your aging loved one. Watercolor painting or photography are two skills you can learn on your own and improve as you go.
- Try Neurobics. Have you heard of Neurobics before? It is when you try doing tasks and chores with your non-dominate hand. So if you are right-handed try brushing your teeth and combing your hair with your left hand one day a week. Or try teaching yourself to write with your right hand if you are a leftie. It is a great way to stretch your mind!
- 3. Play some Games. You may have already heard this but it is worth repeating. Many Alzheimer’s experts believe games and puzzles can help delay the progression of the disease. Playing board games with the grandchildren one night a week or a few rounds of cards at the senior center allow you to socialize while exercising your brain. There are also many educational websites devoted to brain fitness including Brain Metrix (http://www.brainmetrix.com/) and Senior Brains (http://www.seniorbrains.com/).
- 4. Dig out of your rut. Routinely doing the same things the same way day after day puts your brain on autopilot. It receives very little stimulation when it isn’t challenged with anything new and different. So dig out of that rut you may be in! Turn left instead of right on your way to church, and create a new route you use a few Sundays a month. Find a new walking path or reverse the one you currently take. Think about ways you can do tasks and chores a little differently as you go about your daily routine.
- 5. Read a good book. Reading is another easy way to keep your mind fit. It can be a good book or just the local newspaper you read each day. You could also subscribe to a few of your favorite magazines and read them on your iPad. All of the new information you take in provides a good workout for your grey matter.
- 6. Keep up with current events. If you spend any time in a Heritage Senior Living community in Michigan or Indiana you know this is a popular pastime for older adults. Keeping up with world events and debating the issues are great brain booster activities. You could help organize a group at your local senior center or even participate in a forum online.
Do you have any suggestions for readers to help boost brain power?
We would love to have you share them in the comment section below!