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Best Brain Exercises for Seniors

Older adult planning to engage in brain exercises for seniors

The human brain comprises around 100 billion neurons connected with trillions of synapses. That’s a lot of brain power! Adopting healthy lifestyle habits can help keep your senior mental health in great shape. Call 844.785.0871 to speak with someone from the caring and compassionate staff at Ventana about senior mental health and our memory care for seniors in Texas.

What Are the Best Brain Exercises for Seniors?

The brain is a muscle, and like most muscles, it needs exercise to keep it strong. Engaging in brain-stimulating activities can help seniors boost brain power and retain memory. Here are some of the best brain exercises for seniors:

  • Reading – Spend time reading books or articles on topics that interest you.
  • Puzzles – Crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, brainteasers, and other puzzles can help keep your brain active.
  • Games – Play board games like chess or cards to create a fun way to engage in brain exercise for seniors.
  • Writing – Keeping up with journaling or writing letters helps seniors stay sharp.
  • Mental Math – Counting without a calculator or other device is great for brain stimulation.
  • Socializing – Connecting with friends and family via social media, video calls, or in-person visits can help keep your brain active.
  • Taking classes– Learning something new like a language, art, or cooking can also stimulate your brain.

These brain exercises for seniors can help boost brain power and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

What Are Other Ways to Maintain Senior Mental Health?

There’s more to brain health than doing crosswords and socializing.

Move Your Body

Just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five times a week can help keep your brain sharp. Researchers have found that regular physical activity increases the size of your hippocampus, a part of the brain crucial to making memories. Physical exercise also generates a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which acts as fertilizer for the brain, encouraging the growth of neural connections and new brain cells.

Eat a Healthy Diet

A diet high in fat and sugar is as bad for your brain as it is for your body. Diets that emphasize fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fatty fish, and healthy fats help reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Change It Up

If you like doing crossword puzzles, sudoku, or other brain-stimulating games, keep it up. But instead of doing the same thing repeatedly each day, try switching it up. It may not reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s, but it can give your brain a workout and improve executive function.

Practice Meditation

Researchers think chronic stress may be a risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s. Meditation can reduce stress. Practicing mindfulness meditation for 10 minutes a day may also improve concentration and “working memory”—the ability to keep new information in mind so the brain can work with it briefly and connect it with other information.

Prioritize Sleep

Sleep helps your brain consolidate memories, clear out abnormal proteins, and wake up refreshed and firing on all cylinders. Not getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night can result in problems with memory and thinking. Lack of sleep may also increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Quit Smoking

In addition to shortening your life span, smoking increases the risk of dementia and stroke. Studies show that smokers are more likely to experience age-related brain volume loss. Smokers also have an increased risk of dementia.

Remember to Floss

Recent studies found the bacteria that cause gingivitis may also be connected to Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists have previously found that this bacteria can move from the mouth to the brain. Once in the brain, the bacteria release enzymes that can destroy nerve cells, which leads to memory loss and eventually Alzheimer’s.

Find Memory Care for Seniors in Texas at Ventana

We work closely with families to provide personalized care for members living with memory loss. Our Garden View neighborhood offers a structured, supportive setting for members with mild to moderate dementia. Garden View residents enjoy private rooms with round-the-clock support from caring and compassionate staff. Contact Ventana today at 844.785.0871 to learn more about our memory care for seniors in Texas.