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September 25, 2008


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I read daily. But beyond that, research is pretty clear that regular physical exercise is just as important. Many dementias are vascular in origin, where arteries to the brain are clogged.

Keep moving!

Basically, any video game where you are making quick decisions or solving puzzles is a brain exercise. You don't have to pay extra for crappy quality games in order to get the workout.

Play any strategy game that involves making quick decisions. Play any management game. Play any of these simple point and click fast games like Diner Dash where shape and colour have to be matched. Play a variety of games to ensure you keep your skills sharp across the board. Especially if you play against live opponents who are trying to out think you.

Tip, avoid TV . . . it rots your brain. ;)

I read books/magazines. The majority of games on my Nintendo DS have some sort of brain training activities in them. I used to do Sudoku but in the book I have only the advanced games are left and they make me feel more stupid when I mess up :)

Studies show that vigourous cardiovascular exercise is more effective to long-term mental acuity than such "brain exercises."

Get up from the Chess board, put down your Sudoku, and get moving!

I've always loved puzzles and buying one of those big puzzle books at the airport can keep me amused for days. I do a sudoku every day too. Someone bought me a "one sudoku a day" desk calendar, so it's always right there. And crosswords every week when my Irish Times is delivered.

If I remember correctly, FMF gets plenty of physical exercise, too. Seems I remember him saying his resting heart rate is down in the low 50's. By the by, FMF, my low is now 56...not that I'm competing or anything. :-)

Paul --

You have a good memory...

Brain Age on the DS. It really works, and it's fun

1) I participate in a lot of debate and discussion, usually involving a fair bit of research.

2) I read a lot outside of debate, in large part related to #3 below...

3) I teach. Nothing gets the brain working like having to come up with ways to get 4th graders to understand how an airplane flies.

4) I play some computer games that are based on probability (poker, minesweeper), some that are based on strategy (Starcraft), some that are based on spatial reasoning and motion (Descent), and some that are based on careful planning (freecell). I've never really been into the common "stretch your brain" games like word games or Sudoku.

5) I play Dungeons and Dragons in a group. It's required me to stretch in a lot of ways -- social leadership, staying "in character", developing tactics based on knowledge of my teammates' personalities and abilities, planning interesting encounters, etc.

I enjoy a few brain-sharpeners already mentioned. In addition, I play the Eastern game "go" (Japanese) / "baduk" (Korean) / "weiqi" (Chinese). Daily problems are at and online play via IGS (homepage =

Hmmm. How about porn? That must exercise some part of the brain....?

I love Magic: the Gathering

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