Strengthening your memory health is beneficial at any time, but especially as we age. From your childhood home to your first car, your children’s school play to your grandchildren’s favorite color, staying mentally fit helps preserve our memories and ability to recall information accurately. There are several activities that help strengthen your memory and thinking skills – and many of these methods can be fun!

Cards
Group activities using playing cards, like Texas Hold’em or even Go Fish, are useful in that you have to remember what your opponent has – or doesn’t have – to win. The added benefit of these types of games? You get to spend time with family and friends while exercising your brain.

Word-based activities
Boggle and Scrabble are both games that can improve vocabulary and cognitive function.

“Simple games like Sudoku and word games are good, as well as comic strips where you find things that are different from one picture to the next,” said Dr. John E. Morley, director of St. Louis University’s Division of Geriatric Medicine and author of The Science of Staying Young, as reported by Everyday Health.

Online games
If you own a smartphone or laptop, there are several websites devoted to helping seniors exercise their memories, including Lumosity.com and GamesfortheBrain.com.

AARP offers a website of fun games to test your cognitive health and strengthen your memory. They include games that involve calculating numbers, matching words with their correct definitions, and memorizing shapes and colors. The only catch is that you have to have an AARP membership to utilize these games.

Whichever game you choose to boost your memory, you should exercise your brain every day in order to get the best results.

“Brain training is analogous to physical workouts,” said brain researcher Sherry L. Willis, Ph.D., a professor in the department of Human Development and Family Studies at Pennsylvania State University, in an article on WebMD. “You have to cross train – work different parts of your brain and keep adding new challenges.”

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