Brain training: Games and apps to keep your mind active

Brain training: Games and apps to keep your mind active

For those of us who grew up without the Internet to help us with our homework or an iPhone to carry around in our back pockets, technology in this digital age can seem daunting indeed. 

Our kids or grandkids may have even tried to keep us up to date by buying us the latest gadget – perhaps even gifting a smartphone, an iPad or some other tablet for Christmas or a birthday. 

Well pull it out of the drawer, dust it off, plug it in and start to use it for a little brain training. Why? Because those “apps” that young kids these days keep talking about can actually help to keep your mind sharp. 

Apps is short for Applications, the programs that operate on your device. Microsoft Word, the calculator and the digital album you keep your photos in are all examples of apps on your computer, tablet or smartphone. 

There are plenty of fun brain training apps that can help keep your mind active and stimulated. Mental exercise is good for your general health and wellbeing and potentially helps prevent the onset of dementia. 

Rather than simply relying on the weekend newspaper’s crossword or Sudoku to give your brain a workout, here are six exciting and creative apps to keep your mind active.

1. Lumosity 

This application is among the most popular in the world, boasting millions of downloads and subscribers. It offers users an array of games, which test your mind in the most interesting ways possible. Focusing on core skills related to memory, focus, problem solving and flexible-thinking, Lumosity is an app with the potential to really increase your mental dexterity and offer noticeable results. 

Price: Free for limited access; subscriptions are $15/month or $80/year. 

Available for Apple and Android. 

2. Elevate

Elevate is an amazing app that has made waves in the digital world. The application won the coveted Best iPhone App of 2014 from the Apple App Store. This pays testament to both its popularity and effectiveness. The brain training exercises are fun and challenging, offering users the chance to hone their skills in listening, memory and comprehension. Elevate is a “freemium” app, which means that a basic version of it is available for free, however, there are also in-game purchases available for consumers.  

Price: Free for limited access; in-game purchases range from A$0.99-A$193.34 per item.

Available for Apple and Android.

3. Eidetic

A comprehensive brain-training package, the app offers users the chance to focus their attention on improving their memory function. The program is based around offering real-world help with memory improvement, offering difficult puzzles for the user. The application is easy to use, with plenty of in-app assistance offered to even the most inexperienced user. There are in-app notepads and statistics to aid in the understanding of your brain training progress.

Price: Free.

Available for Android.

4. Cognifit Brain Fitness

Put together by a team of neuroscientists, Cognifit Brain Fitness is one of the best brain-training apps available online. The games are enjoyable and designed to keep you coming back for more. There’s also a handy progress tracker that allows you to follow and monitor your brain development.

Price: Free for up to 4 games; annual subscription fee of $120.

Available for Apple.

5. Happify

This bubbly app proves that happiness can be learned. After research revealed the healing power of positive thought, the app developers decided to put the theory to the test. Proceeding on the basis that positive reinforcement can lead to a happier life, Happify offers users a simple way to reflect on their thoughts. The program offers a series of quizzes and polls, as well as a ‘gratitude journal’ that allows for reflection and ordered thought. The end results, according to developers, will be a series of new, positive life habits. By learning new behavioural patterns, the brain can be re-trained into a happier form.

Price: Free; but also has in-app purchases.

Available for Apple.

6. Personal Zen

This charming little app is one of the funniest on offer, allowing players the opportunity to interact with two animated characters. Developed by US researchers, the principle behind the app is simple: by focusing on positive energies, the brain is relaxed and therefore more malleable. After a little bit of game play, users often report feeling more tranquil and mentally focused. It’s also a good all-around diversion and relaxation aid!  

Price: Free 

Available for Apple.

Would you try one of these brain-training apps? How do you prefer to keep your mind sharp?  

Written by Tom Raeside. Republished with permission of Wyza.com.au.