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Do you exercise your brain?
Old 10-29-2018, 05:54 PM   #1
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Do you exercise your brain?

No, I don't mean take it for a walk.

The recent thread on LTC prompted this post. There have been some articles on how to stay mentally fit to possibly avoid decline of cognitive abilities and perhaps even prevent dementia.

I am curious if anyone else here tries to keep mentally fit? Do you believe it is effective?

My mental workout is crossword puzzles (NY Times Sunday and the LA Times Sunday puzzles) and Sudoku. I have noticed that it is taking me longer to do the puzzles which worries me a bit. I used to be a physicist and I like to work out the physics of things I read in the news, even doing the math.

Not sure if it will work but I figure it can't hurt.
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Old 10-29-2018, 06:02 PM   #2
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Yes. I play bridge several times a week, partly in an effort to maintain mental acuity.

I do not know if it is effective. I think my short term memory and my puzzle solving skills have improved. Overall I think my memory has gotten worse over the past two years but it may be that my memory may have declined even more if I had not played bridge.

Like you, I figure it can't hurt.
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Old 10-29-2018, 06:06 PM   #3
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You can exercise the CPU, but the RAM is still faulty and its data often corrupted.
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Old 10-29-2018, 06:13 PM   #4
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My Dad was a crossword whiz, and stayed mentally sharp for his entire 88 years. I'm not as good (by a longshot) with them, but I try. Don't know if it will work or not...but I figure it can't hurt.
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Old 10-29-2018, 06:26 PM   #5
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I do play Sudoku a lot (books and on line) and can usually finish all but the very hardest ones. I seldom work on crosswords since I never could spell worth a sh*t.


I'm not sure if playing Sudoku helps or not but I do enjoy the puzzles.
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Old 10-29-2018, 06:31 PM   #6
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Yes, I do the Washington Post crosswords and various puzzles at BrainBashers - Puzzles and Brain Teasers
I played Kakurasu daily for a year or so, and put my times in a spreadsheet with the thought to see if my times were holding or getting worse, but I got bored with it and the interface was bad for catching up on missed days, so I stopped and switch around which games I play.
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Old 10-29-2018, 07:06 PM   #7
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Old 10-29-2018, 07:16 PM   #8
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Crosswords and read a lot . My Mom made it to 99 alert and aware doing the same things..
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Old 10-29-2018, 07:49 PM   #9
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I do a lot of stuff requiring brain power. I do quite a bit calculating for investments. Detailed travel planning takes a lot of concentration and brain power.

I think memorizing classical guitar pieces is a very good one. I’ve found it’s pretty difficult for me now, but I’m getting there.

I have been doing a lot of foreign language learning over the past several years including tackling a completely new one.
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Old 10-29-2018, 08:00 PM   #10
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Just regular physical exercise helps the brain, probably more than working puzzles.
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Old 10-29-2018, 08:26 PM   #11
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Flying into different airports for Angel Flight. Nothing will keep you as sharp as landing at an unfamiliar airport or one where there is commercial traffic.
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Old 10-29-2018, 09:20 PM   #12
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I do the NYT puzzle most days, but the thing that disturbs me is that I'm getting worse at them. Even 3-5 years ago I could usually finish most of them, maybe miss a Friday or Saturday every few weeks. Now most weeks I fail to finish one or more.

I tell myself they're just getting harder...
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Old 10-29-2018, 10:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stepford View Post

I tell myself they're just getting harder...
Me too. And that the cultural references are getting more slanted towards millennials than boomers.
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Old 10-29-2018, 11:14 PM   #14
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I am learning Spanish and practice everyday.
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Old 10-30-2018, 07:29 AM   #15
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I play Sudoku and Words with Friends frequently.
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Old 10-30-2018, 08:30 AM   #16
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I play Sudoku regularly at the "hard" level where you sometimes have to project 3 - 5 moves ahead. I also add up items when shopping and see how close I can get to the total at the till.

Musically, I have well over 200 songs memorized on bass and 50 on guitar and try to learn a few more each month while maintaining the ones I already know.
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Old 10-30-2018, 08:31 AM   #17
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I have service cone in and do that.
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Old 10-30-2018, 08:44 AM   #18
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I continue to try an learn some Italian so I can impress my American friends when I am in Italy. (The Italians just laugh at me.) I do about 10-15 minutes a day of online study using DuoLingo and the occasional long lesson from Coffee Break- Italian.
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:02 AM   #19
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Amen to crossword puzzles. Another thing that works for me is to do a lot of manual calculations. I maintain an investment spreadsheet, but none of it is automated. When it's time to rebalance, I manually update all of the entries, do some cross-checks, manually calculate the percentages, etc.
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:04 AM   #20
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Sit with some very clever students for a few hours several times a week and try to keep up with them!
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