Looking for some fun cognitive stimulation during the holiday season which is right around the corner?
Here you have a few quick brain teasers to test and to exercise two key aspects of brain fitness: your attention and your working memory-the ability to keep information in your mind while working on integrating, processing it.
Attention and working memory are two key cognitive skills, and they depend on each other. In fact, many memory complaints have little to do with memory...they come from a failure to pay real attention to the task at hand. For example, if you don't remember where you parked your car after shopping at the mall...perhaps you didn't pay much attention to where you parked the car in the first place. The same reasoning explains why we sometimes don't remember where we put our glasses!
Back to the brain teasers. Given these seven mind teasers a good try...they are not as easy as they may seem.
1. Say the days of the week backwards, then in alphabetical order.
2. Say the months of the year in alphabetical order.
3. Easy? Well, why don't you try doing so backwards, in reverse alphabetical order.
4. Find the sum of your date of birth, mm/dd/yyyy.
5. Want a tougher mind teaser? Do the same with your spouse's or best friend's date of birth (without looking it up...)
6. Name two objects for every letter in your first name. Work up to five objects, trying to use different items each time.
7. Look around wherever you are and, within two minutes, try to find 5 red things that will fit in your pockets, and 5 blue objects that are too big to fit.
I hope you have enjoyed these quick brain teasers to challenge your cognitive skills... exercising our brains is as important as exercising our bodies.
Anything we do involving novelty, variety, and challenge stimulates the brain and contributes to brain fitness, to building the so-called brain reserve that improves our mental performance and helps delay cognitive and memory problems, including the early symptoms from Alzheimer's Disease. For instance, learning how to play the piano activates a number of brain functions (attention, memory, motor skills, etc.), which explains why professional musicians have larger brain volume in areas that are important for playing an instrument, such as motor, auditory and visuospatial regions.
Now it's time to spread the (mental) wealth. Why don't you challenge a good friend to try these brain teasers and to share the experience with you?
Alvaro Fernandez is the Co-Author of The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness, recently featured as one of the Best Books on Brain Fitness. SharpBrains.com is the leading clearinghouse website tracking brain fitness information and programs, combined with brain teasers and games.