August 9, 2023

Keep your brain in peak form and have a little fun along the way.

In recent years, a variety of “brain games” have become popular among both adults and kids — like the recent cultural obsession with Wordle. Brain games are not just a fun way to stay entertained, they also have positive impacts on our overall brain health.

In fact, brain games help provide mental challenges which have been proven to improve cognitive functioning related to memory, problem solving, and overall critical thinking. Studies have also shown that these types of games have been proven to reduce the risk for Dementia and Alzheimer’s.

If you want to stay on top of your mental fitness this month, here are a few ways to train that brain.

Brain-Game Apps

Both Apple and Android devices have a variety of apps focused on daily brain challenges. Apps are a fantastic way to incorporate mental training into your daily routine — quickly pull up the app during your morning or evening routine, or during a break at work.

You can choose from a variety of apps, some of which are free while others offer in-app purchases or premium versions. My favorite free apps are Wordscapes, Wordle and Brain Games: Logic Puzzles.

Challenge yourself to a weekly crossword.

Whether you prefer digital or an old-fashioned newspaper crossword, make it a weekly habit to complete a crossword puzzle. This can also be a fun activity to do with your family or friends.

Looking to step the challenge up even further? Sudoku is a fun, math-based challenge — a unique combination of crossword style play and algebra.

Switch it up.

Routine is important, but breaking routine can challenge your brain in new ways. Keep your mind sharp by switching up the way that you complete routine tasks.

As an example, try using your non-dominant hand to brush your teeth, creating an added coordination challenge. This week, switch up the way you do a few of your tasks to help keep your mind on its toes.

Meditate.

While meditation might not be seen as a traditional “brain game,” guided meditation has been shown to slow degeneration in crucial brain areas. There are wonderful (and free) mediation apps. I prefer Insight Timer and Meditio. Meditation can help us clear our mind and give our brain a chance to recharge.

Life can be busy while and brain health might not always be on our mind (get it?), it is important. Brain games are a quick and easy way to ensure we keep our brain in peak form and have a little fun along the way.

Weekly Recipe

Black Beans and Rice

Andrea Hickle, LCSW

Authored By

Andrea Hickle, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

As part of Kinetiq Health, Andrea provides mental health case management services to employees in a workplace setting. She consults with a multi-disciplinary wellness team to deliver comprehensive mental health care, including assessments, crisis intervention, treatment planning and individual/group therapy.

Andrea received her bachelor’s in social work from Ball State and her master’s in social work from IUPUI. She has worked in several areas of social work including school social work, mental health and macro practice. For the past several years, she has worked at Riley Children’s Hospital with psychiatry.

 

Meet Andrea