Brain Power Links


Did you know that the human brain starts slowing down as early as age 30? The good news is that you can speed it up, and improve even your most basic cognitive abilities at any age.Keep your brain performing at its best by engaging in brain games and exercises. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Clearer and quicker thinking
  • Improved memory for names, numbers, directions, etc.
  • Increased alertness and awarenes, elevated mood, better concentration at work or while driving.

1. Why is it so important to exercise our brains?

Our brains are composed of different areas and functions, and we can strengthen them through mental exercise- or they get atrophied for lack of practice. The benefits are both short-term (improved concentration and memory, sustained mental clarity under stressful situations…), and long-term (creation of a “brain reserve” that help protect us against potential problems such as Alzheimer’s).

2. What are 1 or 2 things that are guaranteed “brain drains”? – high-levels of anxiety and stress that are guaranteed to distract us from our main goals and waste our limited mental energies. repetitive and routine-driven life, lacking in novelty and stimulation. We have brains to be able to learn and to adapt to new environments. The trick therefore, is to take on new challenges that are not way too difficult/ impossible, and learn how to manage stress to prevent anxiety from kicking-in.

3. What are three easy and quick mental exercises that everyone should be doing daily?

  • For stress management: a 5-minute visualization, combining deep and regular breathings with seeing in our mind’s eye beautiful landscapes and/ or remembering times in our past when we have been successful at a tough task
  • For short-term memory: try a series subtracting 7 from 200 (200 193 186 179…), or a series involving multiplication (2,3 4,6 6,9 8,12…) or exponential series (2 4 8 16 32 64…) the goal is not to be a math genius, simply to train and improve our short-term memory. Another way is to try and remember our friends telephone numbers.
  • In general: try something different every day, no matter how little. Take a different route to work. Talk to a different colleague. Ask an unexpected question. Approach every day as a living experiment, a learning opportunity

4. Are crossword puzzles and sudoku really as great for exercising our brain as they are reported to be? Why? And what about activities like crafts and hobbies?

“Use it or lose it” may be misleading if we think that “It” is just one thing. The brain is composed of many different areas that focus on different things. Doing a crossword puzzle only activates a small part of the brain. The 3 key principles for good brain exercises are: novelty, variety and constant challenge. Not that different from cross-training our bodies. The first time we do a crossword, or sudoku or knitting, that is great, because it forces us to learn. But when doing it is completely routine, the marginal benefit is very limited. Nowadays neuropsychologists do not recommend paper-based activities but computer-based brain exercise software programs, since they can provide a variety of new activities all the time, always tailored with a proper increasing level of challenge.

5. Any foods that increase our brain fitness? The main principle is that foods that are good for our body are also good for our brain. omega-3 fatty acids, found in cold-water fish such as mackerel, herring, salmon, and tuna, also have shown some benefits. The best “brain food” is, literally, mental stimulation. 6. Does physical exercise also exercise our brains? In summary, physical exercise is important because it influences the rate of creation of new neurons in our brains. Mental exercise is important because it helps determine how those new neurons are used-and how long they survive. Stress can reduce both the creation of new neurons and their lifetime, so stress management is important too. Exercise of the brain is as important as exercise of the muscles. As we grow older, it’s important that we keep mentally alert. The saying: “If you don’t use it, you will lose it” also applies to the brain, so………


120 Ways to Boost Your Brain Power

Play with Your Mind

Spot the Difference

Brain Arena

Brain Training Games

Braingle

Developing a Retentive Memory

Free Puzzle Games

Games for the Brain

Games from Prevention Magazine

How to solve a logic puzzle

Interactive Exercises

Jigsaw Puzzle Paradise

Lumosity

Matica.com Brain Gym

Memory Tools Techniques

Mind Stretchers

Miniclip’s Brain Training Games

More Online Games

Novel Games

Online Memory Improvement Course

Puzzle Playground Treasury of Classic and Modern Puzzles

Sharp Brains

The Memory Page

Tons of Free Jigsaw Puzzles

Online KenKen

Str8ts

9 Responses

  1. […] Brain Power […]

  2. ” The first time we do a crossword, or sudoku or knitting, that is great, because it forces us to learn. But when doing it is completely routine, the marginal benefit is very limited.”

    I very much agree with that statement. I started doing crossword and sudoku puzzles years ago. I made it a nightly routine as it helped me wind down from my day. However, as time went by, the puzzles became too easy. I still do them for fun but I don’t see it as a good brain-enhancing activity now.
    Barbara

  3. […] Brain Power Links […]

  4. i am really surprised Str8ts isn’t on this list. The puzzle can be played at http://www.str8ts.com

    • Jeff……………thanks for the info. I have never heard of this game. Sounds like an adaptation of Sudoku.

      I did add it to the blog.

      David

  5. Str8ts should be on this list of puzzles.

  6. I had a wonderful time playing all the “Spot The Difference” Games – some were tough but I stuck with it for days. Finally after completing all of them I was rewarded with one of Scott Joplin’s rags (maybe Maple Leaf Rag ?) beautifully played on the piano and I enjoyed that so much that I hated to click it off. Do I have to go through all those games again to hear it again??? Phyllis

  7. Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

  8. We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with valuable info to work on. You’ve done an impressive job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

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