Memory games for adults can help improve concentration, spatial learning and problem-solving abilities, which are all critical to maintain as we age. Whether you enjoy decoding puzzles or participating in group activities, there are numerous games that can provide fun and mentally engaging experiences. Here are some great memory games you can try as well as some healthy lifestyle habits to supplement them.
1. Jigsaw Puzzles
Solving a jigsaw puzzle is an activity you can do by yourself or with others that can offer benefits for both mind and body. If you are new to jigsaw puzzles, you may want to begin with a smaller puzzle of 500 pieces. As you build the visual-spatial skills that come with identifying and manipulating puzzle pieces, you can work your way up to 2000-piece wonders. Jigsaw puzzles can also be a great starting point for people looking to explore other brain-boosting activities.
2. Rubik's Cube
The Rubik's Cube is one of the top memory games for adults and has been around for 40 years. Solving a Rubik's Cube involves rotating colored tiles on a cube until each side is entirely its own color. This mind game is also available in board game format for multiple players.
As you master the Rubik's Cube, you might be interested in joining the World Cube Association, which holds a competition every two years with thousands of "twisty puzzle" aficionados.
Memory isn't just a mental skill — it's also the title of a card game you can play by yourself or with friends. The goal is to find pairs of facedown cards in turns until all 52 cards are matched and removed from the table.
In a multiplayer game of Memory, the person who has the most pairs of cards at the end of the game is the winner. Memory builds concentration and spatial skills because it requires players to remember the locations and types of cards and recognize associations between them.
Sudoku is a popular game that involves ordering numbers in a particular way in a 9x9 grid. The game uses logic which is related to mathematical skills that relate to maintaining good memory skills.
Mental skills gained through solving jigsaw puzzles, twisty puzzles, and playing the Memory card game combine to form the basis for success when playing Sudoku. While this puzzle may seem challenging at first, regular practice will help you master the game and can prevent memory loss and the possible diagnosis of dementia. This game can be played alone or with a friend.
Other Ways to Improve Your Memory
Let's look at two other simple daily activities that contribute significantly to brain health. These are activities already in your daily routine that improve mental and physical health.
According to Harvard Health, exercise can improve your memory and thinking skills. Exercise improves mood and sleep by reducing stress and anxiety that can weigh heavily on the mind and result in forgetfulness and a lack of concentration.
Scheduling daily time for exercise wakes up the brain by circulating oxygen through the body. If you experience an after-lunch desire to take a nap, taking a brisk walk can give you the mental and energy boost you need to continue your day. Creating a positive habit of daily exercise strengthens muscles, balance, and the body while benefiting the mind.
If you have ever experienced a sleepless night, you know that being at the top of your game the next day can be a struggle. Research from the American Physiological Society confirms that sleep disruptions have a negative effect on the mind. A proper night's sleep is good for the immune system and overall health.
Create a 30-minute pre-bedtime routine that includes relaxation techniques like meditation, reading or listening to soft music. Turn off technology — cellphones and computers — and avoid watching TV. Prepare your mind for rest and you will fall asleep faster and wake refreshed for the next day.
As you get older, consider using some of these memory games and other techniques to help keep your brain sharp.