In our last blog post, we discussed the fact that exercising your brain is essential for mental longevity and that the care you show your brain health should begin as early as birth. We introduced ways in which children can benefit from brain exercise and offered potential activities as well. Today, we move up the age ladder and further discuss how cognitive development can be impacted by brain exercise throughout the teen years and into young adulthood.
Young adults begin carrying a heavier academic load throughout junior high and high school, which many think will automatically keep their brains active and engaged. While it is true that academics do indeed keep the brain working, teens and young adults have a propensity for getting bored with their homework or tired after a long day at school. We don’t want the cognitive activity to end when the bell rings and they head home for the day as cognitive development is still occurring throughout this crucial age period. Teens and young adults like having a good time and typically engage in activities they perceive to be fun. For that reason, activities that can be considered both cognitive and enjoyable will make all the difference.
3 Brain Exercises & Activities for Teens and Young Adults:
1. Get Outside: Not only will physical activity benefit cardiac health; activities like baseball, kickball and freeze tag are simple games that can serve as great cognitive exercisers. These games allow individuals to focus on a 3D space while using extended binocular vision.
2. Put on a Poker Face: Strategy requires some serious thought and will undoubtedly give your noggin the workout it needs. Try decision making games like poker, solitaire, checkers, Scrabble or even chess.
3. Get Those Thumbs Ready: That’s right, video games can actually serve as a form of cognitive exercise and the age of the Gameboy has actually proven to be effective. With the continuous changes to technology, these games only continue to become increasingly beneficial to brain health. Don’t be afraid to spend some time with technology. Try playing your favorite Tetris style game, challenge online friends to a strategic game, or even try downloading fun versions of Sudoku, crosswords and word searches! The possibilities are endless.
Keep in mind that regardless of age, your brain is a precious and powerful control center and how you protect your mental longevity now can be directly correlated to your cognitive health later in life. Brain exercises like the MemTrax memory test are a perfect activity for Baby Boomers, millenials and anyone in between; and if you haven’t taken it this week, head over to our testing page right away! Be sure to check back next week as we wrap up this series by discussing the importance of brain exercises throughout the latter part of life.
MemTrax is a screening test for the detection of learning and short-term memory issues, particularly the type of memory problems that arise with aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. MemTrax was founded by Dr. Wes Ashford, who has been developing the memory testing science behind MemTrax since 1985. Dr. Ashford graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1970. At UCLA (1970 – 1985), he attained an M.D. (1974) and Ph.D. (1984). He trained in psychiatry (1975 – 1979) and was a founding member of the Neurobehavior Clinic and the first Chief Resident and Associate Director (1979 – 1980) on the Geriatric Psychiatry in-patient unit. The MemTrax test is quick, easy and can be administered on the MemTrax website in less than three minutes. www.memtrax.com
Photo Credit: Vancouver Public Library