Games and puzzles help minds stay sharp

Playing for keeps: Games, puzzles help tired minds stay sharp

Getting your body into good physical shape is hardly fun and games, thanks to dieting, exercise and the difficulty in changing bad habits.

But fun and games may be a key in getting your brain into shape. There is growing evidence that people who engage in puzzles, board games and other mentally stimulating activities can reduce the risk of memory loss and dementia as they age.

Just as the body benefits from activities such as sit-ups and swimming, the brain builds its muscles through a variety of mental activities, whether it’s Sudoku sprints or Monopoly marathons, experts say.

Seems like common sense.

Another article reports video game brain health successes here:
Exercising your brain

A [computer based] mental-fitness program says it can help restore an aging mind to youthful vigor.

Crossword and jigsaw puzzles are commonly cited as good brain exercises, Zimman says, “but they just retrieve the same information over and over again. The brain needs a fitness program to significantly improve.”

Posit’s Brain Fitness Program uses repetition and progressive challenge to make real, sustainable changes to elemental processing, Zimman says.

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