Are you trying to find ways for maintaining a healthier brain? Well, are you playing “Wordle”? This word game recently went viral and grabbed the attention of two million players. Once a day you have a chance to solve a five-letter word puzzle. You win the game if you correctly guess the five-letter word in six or fewer tries.
I got caught up in the craze in late January and found it a nice break in my day as a brain challenge. When the New York Times bought the rights to the game in early February it was rumored that the words were harder to solve (not proven) and some users gave up in a fit of defeat. I continue to play thinking that this may be a good brain training exercise and help me to maintain a healthier brain.
As I have written in the past, my mom developed symptoms of memory loss in her mid 70’s that slowly progressed over a period of about 15 years. At the age of about 75, she started to regularly play Sudoku. A few times a week she would play a game that was published in the local newspaper. After seeing how much she enjoyed the challenge we started buying her Sudoku books in larger print to supplement the days when she wanted to play extra games. As her memory worsened the game became too much of a frustration and the books started to sit idle.
Brain training games have gained popularity over the last 15 years with sales of over 2 billion dollars a year and are great for a healthier brain. Popular games include Sudoku, crossword puzzles, and apps like Luminosity, Elevate, and Peak. The benefits of physical activity as we age have been well documented and now more people are adding brain training into their daily routine as they worry about possible cognitive decline or dementia.
Multiple research studies have looked closely at cognitive training and whether brain training can reduce the likelihood of developing memory loss or dementia. The jury is still out on the relationship between brain training and improved cognitive function. Researchers are still trying to determine if brain training can impact your ability to better perform everyday tasks.
Neurosurgeon, Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s recent book, Keep Sharp, gives five tips on how to keep your brain healthy. His prescription for a healthy brain includes:
- Get regular exercise by adding a 30-minute walk into your routine to improve both your heart health and your brain health.
- Modifying your diet by lowering your sugar intake, avoiding processed foods, and planning out your meals ahead of time.
- Improving your sleep by making sure you get at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
- Challenging your brain with a variety of activities such as brain games, or something that gives you a sense of purpose.
- Make time to have fun with friends and family.
The bottom line is to put in the time to exercise both your body and brain. It can be as easy as going on a walk with a friend and chatting about your day. Let me know if you have any questions and how we can support you. Please contact me at https://severinohealthadvisors.com/. We’re here to support you as you navigate medical options and help to alleviate your stress and anxiety!