Brain Aerobics: Activities to Help Improve Memory

January 15, 2020

Looking for ways to protect brain health and boost memory? Here are a few suggestions to explore.

Even if we don’t always comply, most of us know the doctor is right when they say daily exercise is essential. It helps with weight control, cholesterol, diabetes, and stress management.

What fewer people understand is that exercise is essential for giving the brain a daily workout. Like the muscles in our body, the brain needs exercise to stay strong. According to dementia experts, exercise might also help delay or prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Tips for Exercising Your Brain

When it comes to building strong muscles and core strength, repetition is often the key. For your brain, however, the opposite is true. To avoid cognitive loss, the brain needs the stimulation of novelty. Learning and growing aids in warding off decline.

The Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation says that learning is like aerobics for the brain. In fact, it might decrease your risk for developing Alzheimer’s by as much as 70%!

What does a workout for the brain entail?

We have some suggestions for you to consider.

  • Learn a new language: Mastering another language challenges the brain. Combining language lessons with researching the country’s culture is even better. You can sign up for a class at a local community college or utilize an online platform like Babbel or Rosetta Stone.
  • Start a band: Music provides a variety of health benefits, including protecting brain health. If you already play an instrument, recruit a few musical friends to form your own band. If you are new to music, sign up for a class to learn how to play an instrument. Fortunately, you don’t have to be good at it for your brain to enjoy a good workout. It’s the process of learning that promotes a healthier brain.
  • Read: Reading is another great way to keep your brain challenged as you age. It’s an inexpensive activity you can enjoy anywhere. Your local library likely has an app you can download on your tablet to make it easy to borrow books.
  • Write: Writing can also give your brain a healthy workout. If you’ve never been a writer, begin with a simple project. For example, write about your day in a journal, or record your family history to share at your next reunion. To help them get started writing, some people create a list of questions to answer. These writing prompts might also make it a little easier to tap in to your creativity.
  • Get moving: Physical activity is good for your body, mind, and spirit, especially if you continuously mix things up. Go for a walk or a bike ride every day, but vary your route. Swim at the local YMCA and use different strokes and water exercises.
  • Play games: Whether it’s a few rounds of solitaire on your tablet or a Scrabble competition with friends, playing cards and games stimulates the brain. Those that require memory and strategy skills are even better.

Dementia Care for Seniors

At Legacy Senior Living communities, we offer specialized care for adults with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Our memory care centers—known as The Harbor—are a refuge from the storms caused by the disease.

If you have questions about The Harbor or would like to schedule a tour, please call the community nearest you. One of our experienced dementia caregivers will be glad to help!