Does Your Brain Need a Workout?

You’ve probably seen books and games that claim they can improve your memory or your overall cognitive processes. It seems logical, doesn’t it? You work out your body to make your muscles strong, so why wouldn’t it work for your brain?

Well, the most straightforward answer is that your brain’s not a muscle. The slightly more complicated answer is that there has been no definitive experimental data that proves whether or not brain games work. There have some experiments that say they do and others that say they do only in laboratory conditions.

So the jury’s still out. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that brainteasers are a waste of time. It’s always fun to put on your thinking cap. In addition, what it actually means is that you shouldn’t spend all your energy on brain training. There are other ways to keep your brain active.

For example, just learning in general can help keep your brain sharp. Maybe you’d like to learn a new language or take up a new hobby like photography. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn, now’s a good time. If you’re not sure where to start and you’re a senior, many communities offer senior-learning. Check your local community college or senior center for details. There’s often a wide variety of classes, so you’re bound to find something that interests you.

Other ways to keep your brain active is to keep your overall self healthy. Get regular exercise and eat healthy to start. Social activity is also vital. Those classes can come in handy for that, but if you’re not a senior or your community doesn’t offer continuing education like that, there are other ways to stay social. Get to know your neighbors, for example, or join an exercise group. You can even combine the two and start a walking group. Just stay active to keep your brain active.