Brain Training Ideas for the New Year

December 30, 2014

Recently, researchers have found ways to train the brain to accomplish various mental tasks. According to Udemy, Eric Kandel won the Nobel Prize in neuroscience in 2000 for the discovery that neurons continue to make connections throughout our lives, which has greatly altered the way we approach brain training. Whether you want to sharpen your memory or improve your attention abilities, there are numerous easy ways to focus on your cognitive health and help bolster the longevity of independent senior living.


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Do a Daily Crossword Puzzle 

According to a study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, a daily crossword puzzle may effectively improve cognitive health and verbal fluency in older adults. Though it may be a cliche, this exercise can easily be done daily over coffee while you browse the morning paper. If you’re a bit more digitally inclined, the daily crosswords from most major newspaper publications can be found online and even offer hints and a timer.

“A daily crossword puzzle may effectively improve cognitive health and verbal fluency in older adults.”


Meditation is used as a therapy for many conditions, including anxiety disorders, cancer, depression, and heart disease, according to the Mayo Clinic. This exercise allows you time to mentally focus, relieve stress, and hone your memory and attention abilities. Meditating can be done individually, or if you’re looking for something a bit more social, try guided meditation. is a website filled with specific activities designed to train your brain. Udemy notes that it is the largest memory and attention training game provider. What’s more, Lumosity provides a breakdown of your mental strengths in categories such as speed, memory, problem-solving, and flexibility. Signing up for Lumosity is free, although you can access more exercises by purchasing a premium account.

Take a Walk and Reflect 

Walking several times weekly is a great way to maintain your long-term physical and mental health. Like meditating, walking is another good method for relieving stress. It allows you to decompress and think about your day. Overall, a balanced diet and regular exercise can go a long way in protecting your cognitive abilities.

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