Keep Your Brain Stronger for Longer by Tonia Vojtkofsky
|Keep Your Brain Stronger for Longer by Tonia Vojtkofsky|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A short introduction followed by hundreds of puzzles to keep your brain active. It's a fun way to give your brain a workout.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 288||Date: July 2016|
|Publisher: Short Books|
On the front of the book it says that our brains need a well-rounded workout just like our bodies. A decade or two ago I wouldn't have given very much thought to this - my body and my brain seemed to get all the workout they needed without me adding to their burdens, but close on the beginning of my eighth decade I've noticed something. I keep losing words: nothing major, you know, but this morning I couldn't remember the name of a flower which I hadn't seen since this time last year - until about half an hour later, when, of course it was no longer relevant. When you're young you don't worry about what you'll suffer from in old age. As you get older you develop dreads and one of the biggest for people who are still hale and hearty is that they'll develop dementia.
Research has shown that people who challenge their brains throughout their lives have a lower risk of developing dementia and cognitive impairment. I have friends who feel that they're doing their bit to keep their brain healthy by doing sudoku (I'm getting really good at it) or the crossword (I always do the one in the paper and I can usually finish it in ten minutes) but that's not challenging their brain. Tonia Vojtkofsky is a psychologist and brain health specialist and believes that the brain needs a variety of exercises which challenge the brain and target various cognitive abilities rather than just the one.
There's a very short introduction (it was interesting - I could have read more) before you get to the worksheets, which are all labeled with the prime cognitive ability which they target. They cover the full range of cognitive functions, from memory and reasoning to language and visual-spatial skills. You can work through the book in the order in which the exercises come (that's the approach that I'm taking, at least to start with - as I go on I might feel that there are areas which need more work) or you can dip in and out if you're already aware that there are areas which you need to target.
The worksheets won't discourage you: I've found that the ones I've done so far have made me think but not been overly difficult. Let me give you an example:
Your grandchildren are racing each other in the back garden. Jimmy beat Cathy, and Melanie beat Patrick. If Patrick beat Jimmy, what was the outcome of the race?
You've got to think. You might need a bit of paper, but your brain will work it out. Answers are discreetly placed at the back of the book. Vojtkofsky believes that the brain needs about three hours of workout a week. At present I'm mixing the worksheets with other brain challenges and making certain that on days when I've been out walking I do more than on other days when I've perhaps been struggling with a complex computer coding problem. It's early days to say whether or not there's a beneficial effect, but I'll let you into a secret. I'm rather enjoying doing them! I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If this book appeals then How Puzzles Improve Your Brain: The Surprising Science of the Playful Brain by Richard Restak and Scott Kim might interest you.
You can read more book reviews or buy Keep Your Brain Stronger for Longer by Tonia Vojtkofsky at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Keep Your Brain Stronger for Longer by Tonia Vojtkofsky at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.