In this article, we’ll discuss seven enjoyable brain exercises and activities older adults can use to help keep their minds sharp and their hearts happy.
1. Word Games
Puzzles and brainteasers—for example, Sudoku, crosswords, word jumbles and word searches—are simple ways to improve word association and recall memory.
Since local newspapers usually have at least one, if not all, of these activities in their daily editions, the cost is low. In fact, the cost could potentially be zero as there are also dozens of websites and apps that offer these games for free.
Older adults usually find themselves with more time on their hands, so retirement can be a great chance to trying something new—like learning to play a musical instrument.
Playing an instrument offers endless opportunities to keep your mind engaged since there is no shortage of new songs to learn. This activity can also provide you a sense of accomplishment each time you master a new piece of music, which results in stimulating the brain’s reward system and triggering additional electrical impulses.
Older adults tend to spend a lot of time indoors, which can lead to vitamin D deficiency. Recent studies have demonstrated low levels of vitamin D can hurt the neurological and cardiovascular systems.
Gardening gives you a reason to spend time in the sun—a great source of vitamin D—and it also helps stimulate the brain by requiring you to plan how you will create and tend the garden.
4. Cooking Classes
Taking a cooking or baking class is a good way to use all five senses, each of which involves different parts of the brain. Furthermore, following a recipe requires planning, measuring and using one’s judgment.
Being able to cook and bake can also encourage seniors to feel more self-sufficient and less dependent on others around them. This boosts your confidence and can improve your state of mind and quality of life.
5. Athletic Activities
Staying active increases the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body, and a healthy body leads to a healthy brain.
Start with a low-impact activity such as golf or yoga. Yoga focuses on strengthening the mind-body connection, and golf has the added bonus of encouraging the use of physics and thinking ahead—both great for mental acuity.
6. Board Games and Jigsaw Puzzles
Board games such as dominoes, checkers and chess—along with puzzles and card games such as hearts, spades and bridge—promote problem-solving skills and assists with dexterity.
These games also provide opportunities for social interaction and making new friends. This helps prevent feelings of isolation, which can have a negative effect on mental health.
7. Hobbies and Crafts
Being creative requires more brainpower than simple learning exercises, so more art-focused activities can have a big impact on mental sharpness.
Many communities offer older adults the opportunity to try drawing, knitting, scrapbooking and woodworking, which means they can enjoy the company of other retirees while they flex their mental muscles and showcase their creativity.
There are hundreds of ways seniors can spend their retirement. These brain exercises and activities are just a few of the fun things you can do to improve your health, boost your self-esteem and make the most of your retirement.
Ready to learn more about how to enjoy the retirement of your dreams? Sign up for an educational workshop to learn more about Life Care retirement communities.