Your brain is a lot like the other muscles in your body and just like your leg and arm muscles, your brain needs plenty of exercise to stay healthy. The human brain is truly magnificent and even though we have learned much about the brain as technology and science have advanced, there is still much about how the brain functions that we just don’t know about. However, we do know that your cognitive brain health or the ability to learn, think and remember is a very important aspect of overall brain health. As you age, it is important to keep your brain active to maintain your cognitive ability and keep your memory sharp. In fact, recent studies suggest it is entirely possible for healthy adults to improve their memory with practice. So whether you’re interested in tackling complex math problems or you are looking for a good excuse to get outdoors a bit more, finding new ways to exercise your brain can be great for your cognitive health.

Senior Memory Care: 5 Activities and Exercises to Help Improve Your Cognitive Ability

1. Learn to Play an Instrument

Many older adults find that they have a great deal of time on their hands as they enter their retirement years. This is the perfect time to take up learning how to play an instrument. While trying something new can be scary at first, you’ll quickly find that the challenge of learning how to play your favorite instrument is rewarding in many different ways. Not only will you have a new hobby to take up your time but you’ll be exercising your brain as you learn to play new songs and perform. Plus, the sense of accomplishment when you master your favorite song is a feeling like no other.

2. Word Games

There are so many great word games out there for you to check out. Whether you like a good old-fashioned crossword puzzle or you want to try out something trendy like Sudoku or a new word search app on your smartphone – the possibilities are endless. Don’t have a smartphone or tablet to play on? No worries! Most newspapers have more than one word game or puzzle printed in their pages, so you don’t have to worry about spending extra to have some fun and exercise your brain.

3. Give Gardening a Try

It is very common for seniors to spend much of their days indoors which is not only a little boring but can actually lead to a vitamin D deficiency. Recent studies show that low levels of vitamin D can actually have a negative impact on your neurological and cardiovascular system, so it’s important that you find an outdoor activity that you enjoy.

Gardening is a great outdoor activity for seniors because it allows for plenty of time spent out in the sun and it and help to stimulate your cognitive function by presenting new obstacles each day. Whether you have to figure out which seeds will work best for each season or you simply spend lots of time planning on how to tend your garden, this activity has many amazing health benefits.

4. Math Games

Similar to word puzzles and games, math problems work to exercise many different areas of the brain and improve your overall cognitive ability. Numerical games are designed to test your mental math skills and keep your memory sharp. They can also make it easier to complete everyday tasks and take up new hobbies as well. If you’ve ever been interested in painting, carpentry, cooking or any number of other DIY projects, improved math skills can really go a long way.

5. Cooking or Baking Classes

Learning to cook or bake is another great way to improve your brain function by relying on all 5 of your senses at once. With cooking or baking, you need to be able to see, taste, smell, touch and hear what your food is doing. Additionally, following a recipe is something that takes great focus and dedication. So even if you already dabble in cooking from time to time, signing up for a professional cooking or baking class can be a great way to keep your body and mind healthy for many years to come!

Learn More About Healthy Senior Living at The Philadelphia Protestant Home

Are you interested in more great tips and tricks for maintaining a healthy lifestyle in your golden years? At PPH, we are dedicated to providing a loving, family-oriented and wholesome space for you to spend your retirement years. For more information about life at our retirement community or to schedule a tour with one of our friendly members of staff, please contact us online today.