Suppose a car veers into your lane or a dog suddenly runs into the street. A couple of seconds can make the difference between a scare and a bad crash. Brain fitness exercises can help you react faster and reduce risk of a traffic crash.
While older minds may be just as sharp as younger ones, they often react more slowly. On the average, the human brain begins to slow down slightly beginning around age 30. Getting older doesn’t have to result in cognitive decline, however, if you exercise your mind.
As you age, it takes your brain more time to process information, decide how to handle it and take action. Each step takes longer, and possibly so long that it becomes dangerous on the roadway. Using problem-solving skills, even in non-driving ways, can help improve your mental fitness and flexibility. When choosing a mental fitness activity, keep three things in mind: variety, challenge and novelty.
Quick Tips for Selecting Activities to Sharpen Your Mind
Mastering a new skill gets easier with time and practice, so introduce some variety. By changing things up on a regular basis, your mental fitness will have to work harder to adapt to the exercise or activity. This is similar to “circuit training” during physical exercise routines.
Never let a task become too easy. Expose yourself to mental activities with increasing levels of challenge or difficulty.
Try new mental activities, since very important parts of the brain (e.g., prefrontal cortex) are mostly exercised when you learn to master new cognitive challenges.
Content source: Table adapted from “The Sharp Brains Guide to Brain Fitness”
Activities like jigsaw puzzles, crosswords or Sudoku can be fun, interactive and help keep your mind sharp.