Online Brain Exercise Games For Adults

| Thursday, December 4, 2014
By Claudine Hodges

Baby boomers are facing the fact that mental acuity declines with age, as the growing number of people in nursing homes proves. However, research shows that there are ways to keep the mind strong and healthy. Physical exercise, eating a good diet, and getting enough sleep are important for both body and mind. In addition, scientists have developed brain exercise games for adults that are designed specifically to help maintain cognitive function.

There are specific programs online that are meant to stimulate and train the mind. Results show that playing this sort of game designed by neuro-scientists can increase task performance, help slow down memory loss, and generally keep the mind sharp during the golden years. These timed challenges call for quick responses to ever-changing scenarios. This builds on earlier research showing that simple decisions made on a daily basis are important in maintaining alertness. In studies, nursing home patients allowed to choose their own clothes and help with routine tasks stayed mentally aware longer than those relegated to inactivity.

It's more than just not losing short-term memory or being able to dress unaided. People who play these online games showed more creativity, were able to accomplish more on an on-going scale of improvement, and took more satisfaction out of doing tasks. Motivation showed a marked increase, so it's easy to see how the quality of life goes up when brain training is introduced.

Any good thing can be over-done. Too much healthy food turns toxic, too much water can cause malnutrition, too much exercise can be harmful. In the same way, over-use of computer games will be counter-productive. Everything should be in moderation. The creators of the gaming programs suggest twenty-minute sessions several times a week. Some sites warn that they can be addictive.

Other things that affect mental health in a positive way should not be neglected. These include social interaction; engaging in fun activities with other people is important. Games that involve two or more provide both mental challenge and personal relationships. Physical activity increases circulation and gets more oxygen and nutrients to the brain, so if the game includes moving around, so much the better.

The old fashioned board games - like Backgammon, Mah Jongg, and Scrabble, are an alternative to computer games. Studies show that variety is another mental stimulation, so try to avoid habitual activities by varying leisure time pursuits. Playing with others has a positive effect on the frontal lobe, the part of the mind that controls decision making and planning skills, while reducing the production of stress hormones.

Being happy is good for over-all mental health. Research substantiates the beneficial effects of positive emotions and experiences on quality of life. In fact, concentrating on happy memories is a technique that has been shown to alleviate depression. Experts suggest replaying good times, with all the details of action and conversation, when a darker mood threatens serenity.

Getting a good score when playing an online game can be up-lifting, as well. Many programs actually chart progress in mental skill enhancement. Although online gaming is not a replacement for socializing and physical activity, it can be a valuable addition.

About the Author:


Post a Comment