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Don’t forget to take care of your brain.
Doing puzzles can improve your memory, according to research on over 19,000 people over 50 published this year in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.”We’ve found that the more regularly people engage with puzzles such as crosswords and Sudoku, the sharper their performance is across a range of tasks assessing memory, attention and reasoning,” wrote lead researcher Anne Corbett of the University of Exeter Medical School. She recommends doing these kinds of puzzles daily. Other things that research shows can help you prevent memory decline: learning a new language and brain training exercises. SoMarketWatch scoured Amazon to find engaging products – like this No. 1 best-selling book of crosswords for $9 – that could help you keep your memory sharp.
Do a crossword: Large Print Brain Games 80 Crossword Puzzles Book, about $9 on Amazon
With more than 80 crossword puzzles, this spiral-bound 192-page crossword book is Amazon’s No. 1 best-seller in the word games category. Those crossword puzzles aren’t a bad idea if you want to stay mentally sharp: A 2011 study published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society concluded: “Participation in crossword puzzles delayed the onset of accelerated memory decline in subjects who developed dementia by 2.54 years compared to non-puzzlers.”
Train your brain: 399 Games, Puzzles & Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young, about $12
This is the top-ranked item in Amazon’s puzzles section and good for someone who wants to challenge themselves with different games and puzzles. Some research shows that brain training works: “Our research shows that brain training can maintain or even improve cognitive skills among older people at very high risk of cognitive decline,” wrote psychologist Amit Lampit of his research that was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Play Sudoku: Funster Tons of Sudoku 1,000+ Easy to Hard Puzzles, about $10
This Sudoku book has garnered some rave reviews averaging 4.6 out of 5 stars. One reviewer notes that: “This book was well worth the money, with 330 easy, 342 medium, and 330 hard you’ll be busy for the entire year. The easy puzzles take about 3-5 min, and the medium require minimal guesswork. The hard ones truly are difficult, but not so much so that you want to scream.”
Learn a new language: The “Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language and Never Forget It” book, about $11
Not sure if you’re ready to learn a language? This well-reviewed book could help you with the tips and tricks that can make a new language stick. “At thirty years old, Gabriel Wyner [the author] speaks six languages fluently. He didn’t learn them in school – who does? – rather, he learned them in the past few years, working on his own and practicing on the subway, using simple techniques and free online resources. In Fluent Forever Wyner reveals what he’s discovered,” the review reveals.
Also see: People spent $1.9 billion last year on apps to keep their brains sharp as they age – here’s what actually works