Where has the year gone? The holiday season is just around the corner, which means that it’s time once again for our annual Total Brain Health “Brain Healthy Gift Guide!”
We know that finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list can be difficult, so we’ve put together our 2015 Brain Healthy Gift Guide to keep your holidays stress-free. At Total Brain Health we are always on the look out for cool and fun ways keep you, your family and friends brain healthy, and what better way to celebrate the season than with a gift to boost the brainpower of those on your list? From your boss to your spouse, mom or mom-in-law, kids, grandkids and all those folks in between, each can use a way to maximize their intellectual potential.
We always have a great time putting together our Total Brain Health Brain Healthy Gift Guide and know these items are sure to tickle the neurons of those on your list.
Here’s this year’s top 10 list for brain healthy gifts, plus a few extras for good measure. We’ve covered the full range of Body, Mind, Spirit activities that are part of our Total Brain Health Blueprint, with ways of engaging that have been shown to improve everyday performance and long term brain vitality. There’s something for everyone and every price point – even some suggestions that are free! Each suggestion is linked to make your shopping even easier.
Here’s to a holiday season full of many wonderful memories!
THE TOTAL BRAIN HEALTH 2015 BRAIN HEALTHY GIFT GUIDE
Get Them Moving. The inventors of Spikeball, sometimes described as “volleyball’s brilliant distant cousin,” have modest goals: to build a community around the next great American sport,” and after a successful showing on Shark Tank, they may be on their way. The game involves a little yellow ball, a net that sits a few inches off the ground and two teams of two players. The objective of the game is to hit the ball across to your opponents, just like in volleyball, but with Spikeball, you need to bounce the ball on the net first, so it ricochets upwards at an opposing player. While it’s definitely a game that will keep you moving, you’ll also be working on your reaction time and strategizing. Our favorite review: “Spikeball is 90% mental, and the other half is physical.”
The Gift of Guiltless Eating. The Spiralizer is the Holy Grail for low-carb dieters, or anyone simply trying to eat healthier — a guiltless way to eat bowls of pasta! Zucchini, carrots, beets and other vegetables can be “spiralized” into linguine-like strands that are low calorie and packed with nutrients. The Spiralizer is a cool, easy-to-use tool that produces spiral cuts, shoestrings and vegetable “noodles” for adding new texture to pasta dishes, stir-fries and salads, and it’s also a great way to get your kids to eat their fruits and veggies!
Give With Their Brains In Mind. Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar, is the definitive guide to philosophy and practice of yoga from the master yogi and practitioner who believed that yoga should be accessible to all. Iyengar, who passed away in 2014, was the founder of the style of yoga known as “Iyengar Yoga” and was considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world. Whether a novice or a seasoned yogi, this book is perfect for anyone who is interested in the art and science of yoga.
Simon Says, “Enjoy Some Retro Fun!” Simon Carabiner. Nothing makes us happier than the re-release of this highly portable version of our favorite handheld game, Simon. Build attention, visual and auditory tracking and memory with this classic game of doing what Simon Says!
Stretch It. FlingOns. Stretch your imagination with these fun, magnetic objects. Fidgety? These nifty toys spark clearer thinking, boost creative brainstorming, improve focus and provide mental clarity. For a change of pace, fling ‘em! You’ll improve hand-eye coordination and develop visual perception skills. Fun for the whole family!
An App(le) A Day. Elevate, Apple’s 2014 App of the Year, makes online brain training feel like studying for the SATs (but in a good way), with real-world applications such as recalling conversation details, everyday math and reasoning. The app comes with 25 sets of games and stands out from its competitors because of its great design, as well as having the best progress tracker, loads of interactivity and smart daily motivation reminders.
Holidays Are For Socializing! Pino’s Palette. Friends, art and wine will make you smarter! Studies have proven that social interaction is key to maintaining good mental health and warding off diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Other studies have shown that creativity, in the form of flexibility and originality, is connected to whole brain functioning and psychological development. And then there’s red wine, shown in some studies to reduce the risk of dementia. Have a party with friends at Pinot’s Palette, and while you’re having a great time, you’ll be on your way to better brain health.
Color Their World. Adult Coloring Books. We normally associate the activity with children, but recently, studies have shown that coloring is also beneficial for adults – primarily for its distressing power. Coloring generates wellness, quietness and also stimulates brain areas related to motor skills, the senses and creativity, and this year, book stores are filled with coloring books for adults. Some of our favorites are “The Artful Mandala Coloring Book: Creative Designs for Fun and Meditation,” “Color Me Calm: 100 Coloring Templates for Meditation and Relaxation,” and “Outside the Lines: An Artists’ Coloring Book for Giant Imaginations.”
A Gift That Gives Throughout The Year. Words To Live By 2016 Wall Calendar. Everyone can use a little motivation throughout the year, right? This calendar features the extremely popular box designs from Primitives by Kathy, and each month features a straight-forward, inspirational saying that will keep you smiling all year. There’s also a mini version, which makes a perfect stocking-stuffer!
The Gift of a Good Book. Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast. Selected as one of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2014, “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” is a brutally honest, touching memoir of her parents’ final years. “Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast’s memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents.”
Yes, It’s A Top 10 List, But We’ve Got A Few More Great Ideas!
Give In Their Honor. The holidays are a wonderful time to give to charity. Why not make a donation in a recipient’s name to those who are in need? Among our top choices are the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, which funds early stage research in Alzheimer’s treatments.
Finally, A Brain Fitness Gift That Keeps On Giving. Why not give them the chance to keep on top of their brain fitness? Sign them up for our Total Brain Health Newsletter! They’ll get a great resource full of science updates, tips for getting brain healthy, and other information four times a year – and it’s free!