Exercise for brain health doesn't have to cost anything. Seniors can find ways to exercise their brains every day by utilizing resources in their homes and communities. Brain exercises are important to maintain brain function and keep synapses firing and the mind sharp and alert. Seniors can have fun and exercise their brain power at the same time by playing a variety of mind games that stimulate learning processes, enhance memory and help prevent boredom and stagnation.
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When you use your imagination, you exercise your brain. Curiosity is one of the most stimulating exercises for the brain, according to the Franklin Institute. You can stimulate the imagination just by thinking while you're out for your daily walk. Imagine how you would landscape your neighbor's yard, or try to guess the names of flowers, shrubs or plants you see every day on your walk around the block.
Exercise your mind for free with neurobics. Neurobics are exercises that develop and enhance the five senses. For example, try buttoning your shirt or tying your shoes with your eyes closed. Try eating with your non-dominant hand, or using the computer mouse with your left hand instead of your right. Try eating a meal with a partner or friend without talking, only utilizing visual cues and gestures to express yourself or your wishes, suggests Lawrence Katz, professor of Neurobiology at Duke University Medical Center.
Discover new skills or knowledge though reading books loaned from your local library. Engage the mind by learning a new language or hobby or craft, suggests Patricia Grady, PhD., Director of the National Institute of Nursing Research, a component of the National Institutes of Health. Learning new skills or exercises can help to increase the brain's processing speed and engage cognitive thinking processes and skills.
Free Online Brain Games
Brain games that offer amusement as well as enhanced reasoning speed and capabilities may be found for free on the Internet. Memory games, math games and word games help to increase reasoning skills and potential. Such games can be found by typing in "Free brain games" into your favorite search bar. Many popular brain fitness websites offer a limited number of free games to the public that are easy to access on a daily basis.
Physical exercise offers mental benefits as well. Increased blood flow and stimulation of the brain during exercise helps enhance brain health in seniors, according to the "Senior Journal." Strong blood vessels carry oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the brain, necessary for optimal brain health and development, regardless of age.