Solution Name: Improving Memory
Try alternating crosswords with other word-search games to keep your brain engaged.
Try memorizing small shopping trip lists using “peg words.” Let’s say you need milk, eggs, and orange juice. Your peg words might rhyme with numbers, so one is the “fun” and two is a “boo.” If eggs are the second item on your list, imagine a ghost scaring the eggs and having fun while doing this. Not only will you remember the item, you’ll remember where it is on the list.
Jigsaw puzzles are a fantastic tool for engaging short-term memory, since your brain must sort through a series of colors and shapes in order to assemble a visual picture. The more pieces, the harder your brain must work, and the greater the reward
Lay any number of cards face down, flip up two at a time, and try to match sets. But one way to make the exercise more engaging is to opt for the “spaghetti” variation—instead of neat rows of cards, try a messier arrangement. It will make the location of cards more difficult to remember.
This number game has been a staple of newspapers for years, and for good reason. By having to keep a series of numbers in your head while mentally “rehearsing” their placement in the nine-space grids, you’re relying heavily on working memory. But bear in mind, Sudoku is believed to be most effective early on, before your brain has gotten used to organizing the numbers.
Chess is one of the most intellectually challenging games around, though newer players often rely on short-term memory in order to analyze the board and plot their next move on the spot. More experienced players have committed strategies to their long-term memory, shifting the exercise to retaining information for the long haul.
Take your left hand, make a fist, and extend your thumb; do the same with your right, only extend your pinky. Now switch them so it’s left pinky and right thumb. The coordination involved will strengthen neural connections, which will help both memory and other gray matter functions.
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