National Puzzle Day Brain Exercises + Why Puzzles Help Brain Health
7 minute read
January 29th is National Puzzle day, a great day to start a new routine of daily brain games. Whether you already engage in brain games or not, this is a great idea to promote brain health and ward off neurodegeneration.
For those who do not yet test their brain regularly, this is the perfect day to get your brain gears turning, and there are so many puzzle options available to try.
Keeping Your Brain Young and Fit
Your brain, just like your bones and muscles, requires proper care and attention to stay healthy. Aging can naturally cause your brain to wear down but you can prevent this with regular brain exercises.
By keeping your brain active and stimulated, new connections are constantly being formed, making neurons healthier. This protects you from aging, oxidative damage, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Regular brain training and exercise can also benefit those already diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or any other degenerative brain disease. While there is no definitive way to prevent Alzheimer’s, there are many things you can do to protect your brain and promote optimal cognitive health.
In doing so, your brain will stay younger for longer and better able to ward off degeneration of any kind.
Mental stimulation is the top way to keep your brain young, and nothing works better than daily mind games or puzzles. In addition to this, you can make additional changes in your life to promote optimal brain health.
Exercise helps your physical and mental health by increasing blood flow to the brain. The number of blood vessels that deliver oxygen to your brain increases with exercise, which makes your brain more adaptive and efficient. For you, this means enhanced cognitive performance.
What you eat affects your brain just as much as the rest of your body.
Diets high in healthy fats, plant products, lean proteins, and low in saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods have been shown to have healthier brains and less risk for cognitive impairment.
Watch Your Levels
High blood pressure and high cholesterol both contribute to an increased risk of dementia. A balanced and healthy diet will help to control both of these, but you should get them checked regularly anyway.
You also want to monitor blood glucose levels, even if you are not diabetic because diabetes is an additional risk factor for brain degeneration.
Cut the Bad Habits
Smoking increases blood pressure, which can damage brain cells and neuron connections. Excessive alcohol consumption not only elevates blood glucose levels, but it directly impacts cognition.
Alcohol can impair memory in the short term, but with prolonged use, more permanent damage can be done. It is best to avoid tobacco of all kinds and limit alcohol consumption to better protect your brain.
Multiple studies have shown that being social and maintaining networks is good for your brain. Whether you already have dementia or not, being social has been shown to promote brain health as well as elevate your mood.
Staying social keeps you happy and leads to longer life expectancy.
Beware of Medications
There is a specific risk for dementia associated with aspirin use. By choosing lower-dose options when needed, you can protect your brain against dementia, specifically vascular dementia.
Anxiety, depression, and sleep deprivation all contribute to heightened risk for brain degeneration, as they interfere with brain chemicals and communication. The result is poor cognitive performance.
Over time, the cognitive decline worsens which increases your risk for dementia. Stress reduction and meditation help to alleviate anxiety and depression, but you may also need medication and therapy to get them under control.
Your well-being and your brain will be better off once you do.
Top Brain-Training Games For You
Brain training exercises are beneficial whether you want to prevent Alzheimer’s or just want to keep your brain in the best possible shape. Just like working out your muscles, you need to constantly stimulate your brain to keep it running optimally.
You may already have your own ideas for brain-training game apps. If not, though, the ones below are top-rated and highly recommended. National Puzzle Day is a good day to look into them.
This app for your smartphone provides various cognitive and scientific games for you to stimulate your brain daily. A large portion of the game is designed to improve your mental focus and attention.
This game was designed for those who have already been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Because there is more to living with Alzheimer’s than just memory loss, the Clevermind app also offers social, medical, and dietary tools to help individuals.
Fit Brains Trainer
This app is full of games and challenges designed to enhance brain function speed, focus, and memory. As you get better at the challenges, they get more difficult to continually keep your brain working.
Cognifit Brain Fitness
This app comes with a variety of games designed by top neuroscientists. You can continually challenge yourself and keep track of your progress or you can challenge and compete with friends.
This is a free web service that offers a collection of concentration, IQ, spatial intelligence, creativity, and memory challenges.
| Related: 24 Brain Teasers: Perfect for a Cognitive Workout |
Many people use this site daily to enhance cognition but irregular use is also a great way to ward off dementia.
This app was designed based on scientific studies that showed the brain learns best through repetition. With the goal of improving your memory and a promise that you will “learn and remember anything,” this app helps to solidify information into your long-term memory banks.
The Bottom Line
The more active you keep your brain, the better your cognitive skills will be and the happier you will be. Regular brain teasers and puzzles are a great way to keep your brain guessing and learning.
Not only do you get a fun way to pass the time, but your brain is stronger and better able to fight off the effects of aging and neurodegeneration. Start new puzzles on January 29th and start exercising your brain as well as your muscles.