Let’s face it, we all do it. Sit in front of the TV, space out. Sitting at a Doctor’s office or picking up someone, waiting. Twiddling your thumbs. How about using that time productively?
Puzzles, Crosswords, Sudoku like the books we bought in the Drug Store to play at camp, have really improved these days. If you have a smartphone or a tablet, you can occupy your time as well as exercise your brain like never before. And the possibilities are endless, there are free ones and there are games that you pay a subscription fee to use. But I always try the free ones first to see if I will really enjoy them. I don’t mind paying for something I really am going to use.
What’s the Point?
If you have never had a brain injury or a stroke you may think this is silly. But if you have or you have been the caregiver of someone you know just how frightening this can be. All of a sudden those things you could do, you can’t. One of the outcomes with my Dad, was his ability to read and do the JUMBLE puzzle. He could read to himself, but he could not read out loud to me. He also had trouble with word finding.
In order to get better, there are lots of exercises that were very simple-but tiring to get the brain to work again. The more you exercise your brain today the better fit your brain is to handle some of the bumps in the road that may cause stroke and memory loss the list goes on from bad to worse. Also, as a population, we aren’t using our brains the same way anymore and if you are retired, it is possible your interactions with the outside world are different also. All of this causes your brain to slow down, get out of shape.
Free for Fun games are some of your old favorites but rather than a deck of cards or a book they are on your computer, tablet or phone. These are free games that allow you to play and get a score. Each of these asks for a user name, or email address and a password to play. (Last post discussed having an extra email address – here is a use for that spare account that promotional materials can go to!)
Subscriptions (paying a little each month), may make you nervous but if you are serious about mental fitness, want to keep track of how you are doing, then a subscription site is worth considering, many sites allow for family plans. You may play the same games over again and watch your progress. This is also helpful information for sharing with your Doctor. Manufacturers also consistently introducing new games to try. For the price of one movie ticket a month there may be an option out there for you.
- AARP – whether you are a member or not has free brain games and here is a link.
- CNN- even has a free game area here.
- Lumosity – Brain Games and Brain Training is the one you have heard of has a free evaluation tool and a subscription option.
- Rosetta Stone has Fit Brain for focus, memory and brain speed also has a “try before you buy” option.
There are lots more if you go to the App Stores, Apple, Google or Amazon and browse around. Get them on your mobile device, keeping your brain and memory fit is as close as your purse or briefcase!