Chess is one of the most valuable games for keeping the mind alert. It challenges the player to predict what another player might do while simultaneously figuring out the most advantageous move for himself. The AARP even recommends joining a chess club not only for brain exercise but also for supportive solidarity. Another favorite amongst the AARP crowd is bridge, a card game involving a healthy dose of strategy that is also played with a group.
Word and Number Puzzles
Many people make a daily routine of completing the crossword or Sudoku puzzle in the newspaper, an activity that is certainly healthful for the mind. Keeping cognitive skills sharp through crosswords, Scrabble and other word puzzles can delay rapid memory loss associated with dementia, according to researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and challenging the brain early on can postpone negative effects of memory loss by maintaining "brain vitality." Not only are these methods effective to a degree, but also they are entertaining and relaxing.
Physical exercise is probably the most popular and effective way to prevent age-related memory loss, and it is important to note that physical exercise can include plenty of games as well. Any activity that is aerobic in nature will, at the same time, benefit both the body and the mind. This type of exercise should be age-appropriate and can include swimming, walking, playing actively with grandkids or forming healthful habits such as using the stairs instead of the elevator when possible.