Did you forget where you parked your car? Or do you lose your keys on a daily basis? It happens to the best of us at some point.
Medical experts say some degree of memory loss and a small decline in our general cognition is normal as we age. It also gets harder for us to learn new things or recall familiar information, and that doesn't necessarily indicate Alzheimer's.
There are a number of ways you can keep your mind sharp, according to the Mayo Clinic. A strong body equals a strong mind, so definitely make sure you're getting plenty of exercise. You should also be staying active socially, eating a nutritious and balanced diet, and trying to find ways to stay organized.
But if you're committed, you can even try some brain-training memory games. Studies have shown older adults can improve their memory with mental exercises in addition to staying physically fit, The Huffington Post reported.
Here are some of our top picks for apps you can use to tease and train your mind:
Like a workout for the mind, this trainer works to improve your spatial and working memory. You'll be put through the paces, doing a variety of "workouts" to tease your memory and improve your concentration. You'll be asked to memorize and recall patterns, strings of numbers, and complete puzzles. It also allows you to chart your progress, as consistency is key, in your efforts to improve your memory. Plus, users say it's actually pretty fun.
The neat thing about Lumosity is that it allows you to tailor your training plan for what your goals are for your memory, attention span, speed, flexibility, and problem solving. Also available on desktop via its website, Lumosity provides you with a new set of workouts every day of the week. For memory, you'll be tasked with spatial tasks, recalling patterns, and even face-name recognition, so you'll never have to play the guessing game next time you run into an old acquaintance. The app also boasts being designed by neuroscientists and has 40 million users.
Allowing you to choose from three difficulty levels, this app's memory game module helps you improve your short-term memory through information recall. The pressure is on as you advance through the levels by achieving score benchmarks during timed games. You'll be asked to memorize sequences of numbers, letters, and pictures -- and then identify the missing piece. If you bore of the memory games, the app also has concentration, problem solving, and cognitive speed games for you to play.
With 4 different games, Brain Workout helps you tease your memory, improve accuracy, and have faster mental agility. With a simple and straightforward interface, this is probably one of the easiest apps to use. Choose different difficulty levels as you improve to keep challenging yourself and try working on other areas including mental focus and speed. And to make it more fun, you can even compare your scores with those of friends or post your score to the global scoreboard to be ranked.
If you always enjoyed playing Go Fish, then you'll love this. It's just like the classic memory game, except instead of cards, you play with music. Colored buttons light up and play a sound, creating a tune. After each note is added, you try to recreate the pattern by tapping the buttons. The best part is, it's free -- but it is highly addictive. You've been warned.
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