Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia break down the connections within a person’s brain. In order to slow down or even prevent dementia, a person must keep those connections strong. Many people have heard that challenging your brain by doing things like crossword puzzles or Sudoku are good ways to give your brain a workout. But there are also simple brain games for adults you can do every day using just your hands.
Recently researchers are starting to find out more about doing puzzles. And what they are finding goes beyond the mental challenge of a puzzle. It may also be the use of your hands and fingers can strengthen the connections. The brain games for adults are one part of helping to prevent or treat Alzheimer’s. We have other blog posts that can help fight Alzheimer’s and dementia in other ways.
Turns out there are millions of nerves that connect the brain to the fingers. Those nerves transmit signals constantly to the brain. By sending that information, the brain works on building new connections. The right hand sends information to the left side of the brain and the left hand sends it to the right side. By playing simple brain games with your hands, you can strengthen those connections.
Even 150 years ago some doctors had an inkling of the brain-hand connection. They would prescribe knitting to their lady patients to help calm their anxiety.
Examples of Hand Brain Games for Adults
Working with your hands can be very good for your brain
And your hands can activate many different parts of your brain. Researchers are finding blind people who read braille activate the same parts of the brain that people with sight activate.
It looks like stimulating your brain with your hands is a good way to combat dementia and build new connections. This video above shows some good exercises to try that will help build those connections. Especially if you have someone in your life who already is showing signs of dementia.
Here are some exercises that can help you strengthen your brain. They are simple. People can do them multiple times a day:
If the hand exercises become too easy, you can also do them with your eyes closed. Then progress to counting backwards from 100 while doing them and your eyes closed. The more challenging, the more connections.
Just working with your hands in general will also help. It also helps if there is a reward at the end. That feeling of accomplishment to gain the reward can help trigger a calming feeling. Knitting some clothing, making a woodworking project, or gardening are examples of working with your hands and gaining a reward.