Published on January 6th, 2015 | by Guest


Games to Strain Your Brain and Sharpen Your Mental Powers

To stay healthy as you age, an active mental life is just as important as a vigorous physical one. The use-it-or-lose-it rule applies to the brain just as it does to the muscles – mental exercise keeps your cognitive skills and your memory toned and in good shape.


What type of brain exercises work best?

Just as it is with the muscles, nearly any type of brain exercise is better than being mentally idle. Reading books that you enjoy and watching documentaries on television keep your brain moderately active and healthy. If you’d like to reap the benefits of a well-toned brain, though, you’ll need to stretch your mental muscles.

You can sign up to learn a new skill, travel to unfamiliar places where you don’t know the language, or even put yourself in social situations that you’re not comfortable with. All these approaches help you push your brain to learn new ways to cope, and stay on its toes. If you’re willing to truly exert yourself, though, playing great brain teasing games is an excellent option.

The best brain games to try out

Plenty of games publishers have entertaining brain training titles on sale. Nintendo, for instance, has special programs such as Brain Age that cater to seniors who wish to put their brains through their paces a couple of times each day. You don’t need to limit yourself to software titles that are specifically intended for the elderly, though. A number of excellent games can help you in your aim giving your brain a workout.

Card games: While games such as Solitaire and Freecell tend to be thought of as time sinks, considerable research exists to show that card games — both computer-based and the traditional kind — offer serious brain training exercise. They force the brain to plan and visualize outcomes. Entertaining options such as Solitaire Arena make these games particularly enjoyable as well.

Additional sites offering traditional card games with fun features include:

Solitaire Bliss–Not only can you customize your background and card backs, you can also choose from different card sets. The first two sets are free, but the third–collectibles–must be unlocked win by win and card by card.

Solitaired–If you want to keep your brain healthy with some healthy competition, this freecell game has a daily challenge–complete with a leaderboard and trophies.

Microsoft Solitaire–The digital solitaire OG is now available online. Feed your nostalgia while exercising your mind.

Vocabulary games: Games such as The Right Word require you to find words to match word definitions. These games become harder and harder as you progress. Training the brain to hunt for the right word associations can be terrific exercise.

Psychology games: Psychology games aren’t about simply training your brain to work hard on its own logic. Instead, they are about learning new psychological skills. A new, free iOS game called Happify, for instance, helps you learn empathy, show gratitude and develop appreciation of others. Making deep life changes is a great way to train your brain.

What kind of results can you expect?

Anyone tempted by the idea of brain training is likely to have questions about the kind of improvements they can the hope for.

Brain training doesn’t turn you into a genius; what it does do, though, is to help you retain the cognitive powers that you already have, or regain levels that you used to have when you were younger. Sometimes, it can take as long as five years for the results of brain training exercises to show. When they do come, though, you’ll know that they were worth the effort.

About the author:

David Welch is always looking for ways to sharpen his mind. When he finds something, he shares it online in hopes of helping others live better. Look for his helpful and informative articles on a variety of today’s top gaming and entertainment websites and blogs.

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