Keeping your brain active is a must, whether your age is ten or sixty-five. Puzzle games have long been an important factor in training one’s mind to improve memory and prevent brain aging. With age, a common phenomenon that occurs is that the brain begins to shrink. Keeping the mind active helps reduce the rate of this shrinkage.
Further, it could also help you become smarter by improving strategy skills and retention power. If you are not already convinced and ready to start solving some puzzles, here is another bonus – puzzles are also fun! There is one essential factor required to judge whether you should try a game – interest. If you can solve a problem in your sleep, there is no further use in proceeding with the same. This factor is a sign that you must move on to new games to keep your brain health.
The following is a list of top puzzle games that you should consider working on to keep your brain healthy.
5 Best Puzzle Games to Keep Your Brain Healthy
Crosswords offer two benefits to a healthy mind. One, it improves the players’ vocabulary significantly. Your vocabulary, in turn, improves your memory and your knowledge. Two, since crossword clues are usually puns and layered puzzles, it improves the players analyzing ability.
You can play crosswords the old fashioned way – with newspapers or buy a crossword book suited to your current level. There are lots of websites that offer crossword puzzles for free if you want to play on the go. These websites include newspaper pages as well as dedicated crossword sites like this page.
Another newspaper regular is the game of numbers – Sudoku. Sudoku is a number placement game that tests your skill in planning for a sequence of steps. For instance, if you choose to place the number four in one box, this decision will affect your next moves concerning that particular row, column, or block.
This game improves concentration power as well as short term memory retention. Similar to crosswords, Sudoku puzzles can be played online or using a book or the daily newspaper. Some of the health benefits of playing video games is similar to the benefits derived from playing sudoku.
BrainHQ is a learning application designed by an international team of neuroscientists. The exercises and tests that this application provides are designed applying the findings of a full thirty years of research into brain development.
This application adapts the difficulty level to the user to allow cognitive learning. Available on both mobile and desktop, each BrainHQ level requires about 5 minutes of your day. This feature makes it an extremely convenient means of training your brain. BrainHQ offers exercises focusing on the following aspects of brain development.
- People skills
The application and exercises mentioned in over 100 research publications are displayed on their website. These publications found that people using the application have the following attributes.
- More self-confidence.
- Less likely to develop depressive symptoms
- Lower medical costs
- Better self-estimated health
- Faster neural timing
- Two times faster visual processing speed
- Reversal of age-related slowing
- A hundred and thirty-five percent
- increase in auditory processing
- Increased brain activation
- Eighty-Seven percent improvement in cognitive functioning.
Next on this list is a free website that offers a wide selection of brain teasers, puzzles, and riddles, all meant to stimulate the mind. The full collection of exercises included on Braingle are as follows.
Codes and ciphers.
With the goal to offer an ever-growing collection of puzzles, Braingle allows users to submit their own puzzles. It also maintains an active discussion forum and offers games that you can play against other members of the community.
Claiming to be the number one brain training application there is, Lumosity makes it onto our list of the best puzzle games for brain training. The goals these application sets are to improve memory, increase focus, flexibility, speed, and problem-solving. All age groups can use Lumosity to work on mental puzzles for at least a few minutes a day. This application is available on desktop, iOS, and Android, making it convenient to use regardless of where you are. After five weeks of training using the exercises available on Lumosity, a study found that the group had better results in working and short term memory, speed, and overall cognitive abilities. The group that worked on the puzzles improved at least twice as much as the control group did. the Lumosity also comes with mindfulness features that allow you to improve mental health and learn to relax and stay calm.
We recommend switching up the games listed here and trying all of them. The more variety of games and puzzles you try, the better off your brain’s health is.
Outside of this list, you can also try other popular games and training applications such as the Rubik’s cube, chess, Sharp Brains, Word Crunch, Happy Neuron, Queendom, and Private Eye. Work on maintaining your mind at a young age as this helps prevent the early onset of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Keep in mind that physical fitness is also an important factor in preventing brain aging and shrinkage. Start working on balancing a good dose of mental exercise as well as physical exercise to keep your brain healthy for all the years to come.
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