Boost Your Brain Power With These 7 Cognitive Challenges
Brain-boosting games and activities have been around for years, but is one type more effective than the others? We decided to research the cognitive impacts of various brain activities and learned a surprising fact: the effectiveness of brain-boosting games depends entirely on the individual.
If a player isn’t feeling challenged during gameplay, he or she won’t reap the cognitive benefits. (This means that the sudoku you’ve mastered isn’t doing anything for your brain power, but it’s probably giving the novice player a
good mental workout.)
Researchers have begun to suggest trying a different game every day. With this
in mind, we’ve listed a brain game or activity you can try every day of the week:
Monday: Jigsaw Puzzle
These are crucial for strengthening spatial ability.1
This game challenges both your memory and your reasoning skills. Similar to chess, sudoku requires you to plan your moves ahead of time.2
Many riddles focus on language processing and creative thinking, both of which serve as a great workout for your brain.
This isn’t a game, but it does serve as an important mental workout. Researchers suggest that meditation can improve memory and cognitive functioning.3
Friday: Video Games
Video games aren’t just for your kids and grandkids anymore. Studies show that playing video games that challenge you to multitask can improve both your
spatial awareness, as well as your memory.4
Saturday: Brain Yoga
Make a fist with your left hand and extend your thumb. Do the same with your right hand, but extend your pinky instead. Now switch so that it’s left-hand-pinky, right-hand-thumb. This powerful move challenges your coordination skills and strengthens neural connections.5
Sunday: Kinetic Learning
Working with your hands is another essential activity for brain health. We recommend starting a new hobby that requires fine finger dexterity, such as knitting or learning a musical instrument.
One thing to remember is that while these games are effective at first, once you’ve mastered them, you’ll need to try more challenging activities to keep up the mental progress. If you already play any of the games we've listed above, try something different in order to reap the full cognitive benefits provided by brain games.