|Carolyn Tinglin is a Registered Nurse with a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Science. Her passion is healthy aging. Throughout her career, she has published numerous articles on health, wellness, aging and recently presented at the International Council on Active Aging conference. Carolyn also works as an assistant professor at the University of the Fraser Valley.|
As we age, our ability to maintain our daily routines and activities declines. Common areas of decline are related to memory, reasoning, problem solving and the ability to process information.
The following brain exercises stimulate the frontal lobe area of the brain. The frontal lobe is considered the emotional control centre of the brain. It is also responsible for our ability to process information, problem solve, express emotions and use our reasoning and decision making skills, in addition to other higher level mental functions.
You can begin exercising for just 10 minutes per day and increase your time to up to 30 minutes per day, 3 times per week. Keep a journal of your activities, the amount of time spent on these activities, and any changes you notice. Don’t forget that physical aerobic exercise is also beneficial for the brain and improves your overall health. Consult your health practitioner prior to starting any new exercise regime.
The exercises below are just a few activities that will help with item recognition, information processing and problem solving.
- Where’s Waldo? Hardcover book version or online: http://art-sci.blogspot.ca/2011/07/10-wheres-waldo-puzzles.html
- Collage maker – cut out interesting pictures from a magazine or newspaper. Identify and describe how each picture relates to you or to a specific time in your life (share with others) use up to 20 pictures per collage.
- Amazing Mazes – Assorted maze workbooks are available at retail stores and online: http://www.knowledgeadventure.com/games/a-maze-race
- The Everyday Problems Test (EPT) is a multiple choice questionnaire that requires the user to review information and select one answer. Questions involve everyday challenges like understanding recipe instructions, calling card discounts, appliance warrantees, car repair bills, etc. Complete a few questions each day and share your answers with a friend. https://sharepoint.washington.edu/uwsom/sls/Documents/102-EPT-multi-choice.pdf