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Try These Mental Fitness Exercises for Aging Well

Senior couple doing a jigsaw puzzle at home

It's been said that "a strong mind can move mountains." What a powerful statement about the capacity of our thinking – and the importance of brain health. As one of the most essential organs in our body, our brain controls how we think, how we speak, how we move, and how we approach our circumstances. Brain health is also essential for living a long and full life. According to the Alzheimer's Association, staying mentally active can help increase our vitality. Who doesn't want that?

With all of this in mind, it's essential to nurture our brain and promote intellectual wellness. One way to do this is by integrating mental fitness into our daily routines.

What is Mental Fitness?

Mental fitness means keeping our brain and emotional health in tip-top shape. It's just as important to our overall wellbeing as physical fitness, especially for seniors. There are many forms of mental exercises. Some exercises are more active, such as learning a new skill or playing a board game. Others are more restful and involve relaxation techniques.

All in all, these exercises involve being curious, expanding our knowledge, stimulating our creativity, and ultimately caring for ourselves. So, let's get busy. Try a few right now!

Mental Fitness Exercises

1.       Do one thing at a time. There's a common myth that multi-tasking is highly productive and trains our minds to think quickly. The truth is, our error rate increases by 50 percent, and it takes twice as long to do things when we try to focus our attention on more than one thing at a time. So, it's better to slow down and take one task at a time. Do this today, and you'll be on your way to improving your concentration and becoming more productive.

 2.       Think positive. Positive affirmation is a wonderful way to increase our mental proficiency. Affirmation, which simply means talking to ourselves positively, involves strengthening neural pathways to bring self-confidence, wellbeing, and satisfaction to a higher level. To get started, write a list of qualities you like about yourself, then read them aloud and often. When you begin to fill your mind with positive thoughts, your life may start to change in amazing ways.

3.       Try something different. Doing new things in new ways helps retain brain cells a and produces new ones. In essence, breaking out of your routine can help your mind stay healthy. A few easy ways to do this are taking a different path to the store, trying new foods, visiting new places, or talking to someone new. (You could end up with a new best friend in the process!)

4.       Play games. Games such as crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and even video games like Candy Crush and Wii Sports are a great way to build your brain muscle. In fact, according to this interesting study, video games may increase your attention span, reaction time, and task-switching ability. Want some fun online games to try? Here's a great list to consider.

5.       Read more. Reading is a great activity because it ignites several parts of the brain. Beyond the mechanics, reading helps you visualize the subject matter and imagine what voices sound like in the written dialogue. Reading is also highly relaxing. So, pick up a book and enjoy the endless options of reading material around you.

 6.       Relax your mind. Relaxation is just as important in a mental workout as the more energetic activities. Be sure to schedule some "downtime" in your day to relax, laugh, meditate, and get plenty of rest.

On that note, sleep plays a huge role in your brain health. Researchers believe sleep clears abnormal proteins in your brain and consolidates memories, which can boost your overall memory and brain health. For more information on the benefits of sleep, this is an excellent resource for your reading pleasure.

7.       Commit to lifelong learning. Continually learning new things has been shown to reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Lifelong learning is certainly something we foster at Resort Lifestyle Communities. Through organized activities such as creative classes, dances, games, book clubs, and cultural excursions, we're able to create many opportunities for residents to expand their thinking and boost their intellectual wellness. If you'd like to learn more, find a community near you and schedule a visit. We'd love to host you at one of our next activities.

Mental fitness exercises don't have to take a lot of time. Simply spending a few minutes each day can help you feel better and think more clearly. And, when you pair these exercises with a commitment to lifelong learning, you'll be on a great path to taking care of your brain health. Here's to strong minds that move mountains!

Written By

Resort Lifestyle Communities

Resort Lifestyle Communities (RLC) develops all-inclusive resort-style communities to provide a relaxing and worry-free retirement lifestyle for residents. The comfort, safety, and enjoyment of our residents are our top priorities. For this reason, every community is staffed with live-in managers, a 24/7 emergency alert system and concierge service, gourmet chefs, housekeepers, maintenance staff, a full-time lifestyle director, and more. For more information about RLC, visit

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