As a senior, brain exercise is just as important as physical exercise. A caregiver can aid in both your physical and mental needs. Having a companion can help you retain your youthfulness which can keep your brain active. Your senses can get dull over time, but brain exercises can help retain the sharpness of your cognitive skills. After the age of 65, the risk of developing dementia doubles. Complex challenges are a great way to stimulate and keep your brain active.
What are Brain Exercises?
The brain never sleeps. Literally! Even during sleep, the brain is active and manages everything in our body but that isn’t always enough to keep it engaged. Doing certain activities that challenge the brain can improve our memory, cognitive function, and creativity. This can help age-related brain degeneration, especially in the elderly. Here are some brain exercises that you can do to engage and stimulate your brain:
Partaking in Hobbies
Doing hobbies that require you to make use of your coordination or dexterity can help activate your motor skills. Hobbies such as drawing, painting, dancing, playing an instrument, or knitting can activate both the logical and creative parts of your brain.
Listening to Music
Listening to music can be a way to stimulate the brain. Listening to music (or playing it) every so often provides a workout for the brain. Research shows many benefits to listening to music like improving sleep quality, mental alertness, memory, and mood. It can also help reduce pain, blood pressure, and anxiety.
Learning a Second Language
Learning another language promotes higher brain functions such as memorizing, organizing, and expressing ideas. It is one of the best ways to exercise your brain. Even learning simple, commonly used phrases in a second language can activate neurons in the brain.
Reading and Writing
There are advantages from reading and writing. Reading exercises your memory and strengthens the brain's neural network. Reading and writing can also improve your analytical and reasoning power. A study on Americans aged 25-74 found that those who regularly did activities that challenged the brain did better on fluid intelligence tests.
According to some studies, physical activity has been linked to improved cognitive performance. It can also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Staying active in general can lower health risks such as high blood pressure, stroke, and symptoms of depression which can improve cognitive health.
There are lots of benefits from regular brain exercises, especially for seniors. Because age-related decline can affect the brain, training your mind can maintain or even improve your cognitive abilities.
What are the Benefits?
Makes You More Social
Brain exercises promote socializing with other people. Activities such as playing cards, chess, or even signing up for a class can help form new connections or relationships.
Opens Up Your Mind
The brain likes to learn new and challenging things. Doing things such as learning an instrument, or a new language can open neural pathways and activate them. Solving mathematical problems that get progressively difficult can also boost mental fitness.
Participating in hobbies that involve socializing lessens isolation and loneliness. Playing games that involve other people can provide companionship which can give you protective health benefits.
It Gives You a Sense of Control
People, by nature, look for or need a sense of purpose or control. Age-related decline, losing memory, or being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s can make a person feel like they’re losing control. Having brain exercises to assist with sharpening your mind can give you a chance to have a sense of control and a chance to improve your overall self.
Improves Blood Flow to the Brain
Having a good blood flow to the brain is important because it brings oxygen and other nutrients to the brain. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital’s Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine in Dallas conducted a 3-month study that involved 16 women aged 60 and older who were asked to brisk walk for 30-50 minutes three to four times a week and saw improved blood flow to the brain by 15%.
Although brain exercises don’t fully cure memory loss or dementia, they can help improve or retain your mind’s sharpness. Doing these activities regularly can aid you in remembering daily tasks with little to no struggle. Start reaping the benefits of physical activity for your brain and overall wellness.
Unified Pledge is a leading provider of in-home senior care solutions in Palm Beach County and Broward County. We offer free, no-obligation in-home consultations, cost estimates, and insurance policy benefit reviews.
Give us a call so we can help you create a custom home care solution for yourself or your loved one.