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Take your brain out for a spin now and then ... it will thank you

Wellness with Cindy

Author: Cindy Sue Blair/Tuesday, August 26, 2014/Categories: Health

It weighs only three pounds yet it is the control center of our body, the human brain. Studies have suggested that like physical fitness, brain fitness can help improve creativity, relaxation and boost your memory.

How can we exercise our brain? Simple word puzzles can be used to stimulate your brain with reasoning and information processing.

Word puzzles have been a popular pastime since the 1800s. The 1870s puzzle called a doublet consisted of taking “two words of the same length and linking them together by interposing other words, each of which shall differ from the next word by one letter only”. If the two chosen words were HEAD and TAIL, the doublet would consist of HEAD, heal, teal, tell, tall, TAIL. Simple in appearance yet the doublet engages your mind in complex decision making in each link.

The Alzheimer’s Association encourages people to keep their brain active with a variety of activities such as games and classes, as well as social interaction. Researchers believe that the greatest benefit for your mind is a new learning experience.

You can exercise your brain with thousands of free puzzles and brainteasers like these. Categories include puzzles, games, illusions, Sudoku and much more. One of my favorite sections is optical illusions. Is that an image of a vase or if you look closer is it two people facing each other?

If you prefer action games check out AARP's site. I enjoy the matching game, Ice Cream Blast. You have to move and match ice cream toppings that then drop on ice cream cones. You earn points depending on what and how many toppings you match. There is a large selection of free games including mahjongg, solitaire, and more action packed games.

Brain exercise can involve everything from simple pen and paper puzzles to taking an OASIS class. Get out there and play ... your brain will thank you.
 
Other brain fitness resources:
Physical fitness linked to brain fitness - US. News & World Report
 
 

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Cindy Sue Blair
Cindy Sue Blair

Cindy Sue Blair

Cindy Sue Blair is an OASIS Facilitator for Exerstart, Active Start and Active Living Every Day classes and a certified ACE Group Fitness Instructor. She is also a Culinary Instructor and Event Volunteer for Operation Food Search. Other posts by Cindy Sue Blair
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