Are Brain Games Helpful with Improving Memory?

As a natural storage device, the “mind” seems similar to a computer hard drive. It is believed to be able to retain up to 2.5 petabytes of info– that is akin to nearly three million hours of TV. Having the ability to retrieve all of that information, nonetheless, is a different matter. We have all seen apps or online games that guarantee to improve brain age or memory. Likewise, ads for dietary supplements claiming to sharpen memory and thinking abilities seem to be everywhere. Consider these memory boosters to improve memory.

While simple remedies for memory loss are alluring, do any of these memory boosters truly work?

Memory Boosters - Are Brain Games Helpful with Improving Memory?
Memory Boosters – Are Brain Games Helpful with Improving Memory?

The value of memory training is extensively discussed by researchers, and study results are inconsistent. Some evidence reveals brain games may help develop particular thinking abilities, such as response time.

“There are a wide variety of games claiming to improve memory, but most of them have no scientific validation,” says Elena Gupta, M.D., who specializes in geriatric medicine at Henry Ford Allegiance Health. “We also lack scientific evidence that we can improve core brain processes and have not identified what is key to make an intervention effective.”

The advantage of memory-boosting supplements is just as uncertain, given that dietary supplements are exempt from authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is illegal to claim a supplement can help with memory loss. Yet it is lawful to say a supplement is “scientifically verified” to achieve particular results, such as enhancing memory, without giving evidence.

The National Institute on Aging advises caution on taking any supplements promising to improve memory. Without regulation, these could be harmful and might interfere with other medications.

However, digital brain games can not hurt, especially if you enjoy the challenge!

“Brain games and memory training are not likely to harm you, except by promoting a sedentary lifestyle,” Dr. Gupta says. “If you want to improve your thinking and memory skills, it is better to go for a walk or do other physical activity to increase blood flow to the brain and body.”

Improving your memory can improve your overall wellness and by boosting your productivity, as well as decision making and organizational skills. It also reduces stress which can further improve overall happiness. Improving your memory requires time and regular exercise of the brain.

What are memory games?

Memory games are a great method of exercising your mind to improve your memory. Like our bodies, the brain needs normal use to stay healthy and balanced, and sharp. Memory games test the mind and help the gray matter in our minds–the part that affects memory–to grow and also expand. Research has actually revealed that just 15 mins every day of brain training can boost your mind function.

Crossword puzzles
Crosswords are among the most timeless brain training activities. These activities can help test your vocabulary skills and also draw on knowledge from history, scientific research and popular culture. You can execute crosswords online or through phone apps or select the typical path, such as printed books or newspapers.

Crosswords are commonly used as a cognitive exercise to delay the onset of mental deterioration, especially when done regularly. Because it is possible to strain your brain, limit yourself to one difficult problem/game each day.

Chess
The game of chess was developed to be a mentally intensive as well as intellectually tough game. It calls for dependence on temporary memory to fully analyze the board and also create a strategy for every action. You will need to prepare for the moves of your challenger and also ensure each move works in a way to help you attain your end goal. This action activates your long-term memory so you are exercising parts of your mind in a shifting pattern.

Jigsaw puzzles
Jigsaw puzzles are great mind-training games, as they require you to function the left and right sides of the brain at the same time. They also reinforce the connections between the brain cells, which improves psychological speed and boosts short-term memory. Jigsaw puzzles enhance visual-spatial thinking as well, as you need to take a look at the individual items and determine where they fit into the big picture.

Sudoku
Sudoku can improve your memory as well as stimulate various other parts of your brain. To effectively complete this game, you must maintain a range of numbers in your head while putting them mentally in among the nine spaces on the grid. This game relies heavily on working memory to memorize the numbers and then utilizes logical thinking to figure out the next space.

Since Sudoku requires players to think purposefully and utilize creative thinking to resolve problems, it can boost both focus as well as analytic skills. Players discover how to make decisions and act with less hesitation.

Other Tips for Improving Memory

Meditate
Studies have revealed that meditation enhances the gray matter in the brain, the part of the mind that influences memory and also cognition. Meditation and relaxation strategies have been revealed to improve short-term memory for people of all ages.

Get enough sleep
Sleeping plays an essential role in memory consolidation, the process in which short-term memories are changed into long-term ones. Experts advise between 7 and 9 hours of rest each night for adults.

Exercise
Research has shown that exercise may improve the growth and development of neurons, which leads to improved brain health.

One thing at a time
When you are performing any task, focus on that one task. By avoiding multitasking and focusing on one thing at a time, your brain will have time to encode the information properly.

Memory Boosters 101

  • Eat a nutritious diet and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Prioritize fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins in your meals and snacks, and get your heart rate up for about 30 minutes a day, 5-7 days per week. Even low-impact exercises like walking make a difference.
  • Take care of any existing health conditions. Follow your doctor’s instructions and take your medications as directed.
  • Do not smoke or use other tobacco products. If you struggling to quit, look for resources or talk to your doctor.
  • Limit or avoid alcoholic beverages and other drugs. Tolerance for alcohol decreases as you age, so people 65 and up (both men and women) should watch their intake and follow guidelines for drinking in moderation.
  • Interact with other people. Maintaining social connections is critical, though it can be hard during the pandemic. Call your loved ones or find socially distanced solutions for seeing each other, like virtual hangouts or outdoor, masked-up get togethers.
  • Learn a new language. Developing new skills like learning a new language can help keep your mind sharp.
  • Express your creativity. Whether it is crafting or playing a musical instrument, getting creative stimulates brain activity, plus it can be fun and a great stress reliever.

If you or someone you love is experiencing memory loss, talk with a health care provider about your concerns.

Sources: https://www.henryford.com/blog/2021/01/can-brain-games-and-supplements-boost-memory
https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/64418/11-unforgettable-games-improve-your-memory
https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/games-to-improve-your-memory

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Memory Matters empowers mid-lifers (and beyond) to improve their memory and confidence through proven techniques and strategies. If you feel that you or a loved one could benefit from the help of a memory coach, please contact us today! Email rena@renayudkowsky.com

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