The Cayuga Community Connectors hosted Dr. Christian Thompson for a very-well attended and entertaining talk on brain fitness this month.
And he began with the great news that cognitive exercises can actually improve our memory – even in cases where there’s already been some memory decline. To keep your mind fit, Dr. Chris recommends:
Eating well and staying active! This not only keeps our bodies healthy, but also promotes good blood flow to the brain. And that’s essential for keep our minds healthy. (Download some recommended exercises-PDF)
Learning new things and continuing to challenge ourselves mentally. Cognitive training – focusing on games and activities that make us think – actually improve our memories more than using strategies to remember things.
We even had a chance to try out some brain games. In approaching a new challenge, Dr. Chris reminded everyone to:
- Start by Understanding the Problem
- Develop a Step-By-Step Process
- Expect Setbacks – If it’s easy, it’s not exercising your brain!
- Be Persistent – Don’t give up! Keep going, even when it’s difficult. This is what keeps your brain young.
If you want to try some of these brain games yourself, here are three handouts to get you started:
Download Categories Puzzles (PDF) (Find words starting with certain letters to fit certain categories). Want more? These are ones you can make up yourself!
Want More Opportunities to Try New Things? If you’re looking for other puzzle games to make you think, try printing out some of the ones at Puzzle Baron. Or join CLC at one of our classes at 360 Valencia and other locations throughout the city (PDF) for a chance to learn a new skill and meet new people at the same time.