Body and Mind

5 on the fly: fun and free online brain training games

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by Sarah Halfpenny

Brain training is great for all ages – studies have shown it reduces the risk for Alzheimer’s, improves memory, increases reaction time, helps critical thinking, and improves attention span.

Here are five of the most fun (and free!) online games to exercise your grey matter. So next time you’re waiting at the doctor’s or have 10 minutes to spare, give them a whirl!

  1. Crossword puzzles

You can’t beat the old-school fun and challenge of a crossword, but you can make it even better by having it online so it’s easy to navigate and fill in! Some research has even shown that doing a daily crossword has better cognitive outcomes than medication.

  1. Sudoku

Although it’s a numbers-based game, you don’t have to be good at maths to be good at sudoku! It’s a logic-based puzzle and can even be relaxing as you methodically fill in the 9×9 grid with numbers so that each column and row contain all of the digits 1 to 9.

  1. Wordle

This once-a-day word game has taken the world by storm after it was created by Welsh software engineer, Josh Wardle, for his partner to play. Players have six attempts to guess a five-letter word, with feedback after each try. Wordle was bought for an undisclosed 7-figure sum by the New York Times in January 2022. Make it part of your daily routine!

  1. Memory tests

As we get older, we become more forgetful, so memory tests are important to help strengthen short-term and long-term memory. They can also help assess if there are any problems arising with memory and whether it’s health-related, so you can alert your doctor and potentially prevent diseases developing or progressing.

  1. Trivia

Playing trivia games provides us with a feel-good dopamine rush similar to playing video games or gambling, but without the negative effects. Retaining information is literally exercise for the frontal cortex, so pick a few topics you love (movies? sport? geography? animals?) or go for broader knowledge base and get that winning feeling!

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