The key to maintaining your brainpower as we grow older, particularly in today’s technology driven world has just one major action step and that is to USE IT!
We have so many tools today that help us avoid thinking…many will say that these things make our life easier, better, more manageable…and I’m not going to argue that. But have we considered whether there is a price to be paid down the road? Maybe a price that has more serious consequences than we recognize?
Many years ago, as a Senior in College, I decided to sit for the CPA Exam
upon completing my degree in Accounting that Spring. Now I’m just going to admit that this was a pretty long time ago, when sitting for the exam met cuddling up with 700 of your peers in a proctored arena setting for 2 and ½ days of testing. No…there were no computers allowed and more importantly no calculators allowed either. All the math in the exam (of which there was a lot….it is an accounting exam after all!) needed to be done the old-fashioned way…in your head and on your paper.
At the time I was taking a CPA review class. The instructor gave us a great piece of advice and that was to put away your calculator for homework and in class tests and do math by hand as practice! Why did he think this was so important? Because you needed to be fast and accurate at math to focus on the content of the exam and not on where you made a math mistake…or missed finishing all the questions because your math was slow. And it did seem shocking in retrospect that before I was even out of school, I had lost a lot of ability to mentally compute!
Others in my class denied it was true and continued to use their calculator, but after one frustrating evening doing my homework without my calculator, I knew it was true! And my guess is that you know it is true too each time you take your phone out to use an app or your calculator to figure out a 20% tip at dinner!
“Keeping your brain young and flexible is not just about what you eat or drink, but also about what you ask your brain to do.”
‘Use it or Lose it’
I believe continuous learning of new skills and practicing of already learned skills are fundamental elements to maintain your brainpower over time. Where do you think the old saying ‘use it or lose it’
comes from? We need to ask our brains to perform the tasks they have been trained to do. And what better place to do that is while playing a board game! Your brain will help you strategize, use math, use language and assess probabilities. It also creates storable memories of laughter and fun. Really…game play has it all.
So, while playing word games on your phone is helpful…30 minutes of face-to-face game play really gives you major benefits for your time invested…and may be one of the best and most fun ways of maintaining your brainpower!
Boost your brainpower with these blog posts:
The Benefits of Play for Children’s Development
Strategy Board Games for your Next Game Night