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Top 100 Memory Exercises

Armis is a high-strategy board game, designed for brain-game enthusiasts.


The objective is simple -- capture your opponent's Flag, s

uccess is often achieved through good planning, astute situational assessment, and brilliant implementation.


Benefits of Playing Armis
  • Armis develops critical thinking skills,
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  • Armis inspires you to be inventive, 
  • Armis emboldens you to learn and understand complex matters easier and faster,
  • Armis spurs you to plan for and attain success, 
  • In a narrow way, some could say Armis furthers a scientific way of thinking -- you decide on a hypothesis, then you make your ‘move’ to test it.   

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1.  Journey System - Memorizing Words using
 Journey System

The journey system is a powerful technique for remembering. It is based upon remembering stops in a journey and associating the items to be memorized, to the locations in your journey. An example of a journey could be one around your house. The Living room being one stop, the Kitchen being the next, Bedroom, Bathroom, Backyard, and so on. You can have many journeys and as many stops in each journey as you like. For example, some people have a 52 stop journey that they always use to memorize a deck of playing cards. They simply associate each card to a stop in the journey. One card per stop. Example, King Of Spades can be seen as a large spade being used to take hot bread out of the oven.
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2.  Establishing Goals, Linking Example, Number Shape System, Number Rhyme System

One of the simplest of memory techniques is the link system. Just say you have a shopping list of 5 items. You'd use the link system to link those items together in an imaginative & memorable story of some sort. This is where the fun begins. For example we have the items:

Tomatoes, Carrots, Eggs, Biscuits and Soup To remember these items using the link system we could make up something like:

You imagine walking into the supermarket and you see everyone dressed as a TOMATO bouncing around the store. The owner of the market finds you and questions you as if you're some alien being unfamiliar to their tomato race. He cannot comprehend what you are saying so he sticks a CARROT in your ear. This carrot then starts to grow inside your ear and lifts you up like a balloon and flies you crazily around the market.
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3.  Major System - Creating Peg Words using the Major System and memorizing numbers

The Major System basically uses the sounds of the alphabet for each digit. When you substitute the digits with the sounds you can then create a peg word. For example, by substituting the digit 1 with a 'd', and the digit 7 with a 'k', you would have a 'd' and a 'k' to represent the number 17. We don't stop here. Realizing that there are only 10 different digits that we are interested in, i.e. 0 - 9, and that there are 26 letters in the alphabet, the creators of the Major System left some spare letters for us to use when we create peg words! The spare letters are all the vowels 'a','e','i','o','u', and 'h','w','y'. With this in mind you could make up the word "duck", by selecting some of the spare characters to insert before, between, or after the substitute letter(s) for the digits '1' and '7'. Your peg word for number 17 becomes the word "duck". Note that 'ck' makes the same sound as a 'k' when it is spoken.
Below is a breakdown of the numbers and their corresponding sounds.

0 = S or Z, soft C (e.g. Ceiling)
1 = T or D
2 = N
3 = M
4 = R
5 = L
6 = J, SH, CH, soft G (e.g. Germany) DG (e.g. Nudge)
7 = K, hard C (e.g. Cat), hard G (e.g. Goat), hard CH (e.g. Chorus) QU (e.g. Grotesque)
8 = V or F
9 = B or P
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4.  Don’t Skimp on Exercise or Sleep

Treating your body well can enhance your ability to process and recall information. Physical exercise increases oxygen to your brain and reduces the risk for disorders that lead to memory loss, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Exercise may also enhance the effects of helpful brain chemicals and protect brain cells.

When you’re sleep deprived, your brain can’t operate at full capacity. Creativity, problem-solving abilities, and critical thinking skills are compromised. Whether you’re studying, working, or trying to juggle life’s many demands, sleep deprivation is a recipe for disaster.
But sleep is critical to learning and memory in an even more fundamental way. Research shows that sleep is necessary for memory consolidation, with the key memory-enhancing activity occurring during the deepest stages of sleep.
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5.  Keep Stress In Check

Stress is one of the brain’s worst enemies. Over time, if left unchecked, chronic stress destroys brain cells and damages the hippocampus, the region of the brain involved in the formation of new memories and the retrieval of old ones.

The scientific evidence for the mental health benefits of meditation continues to pile up. Studies show that meditation helps improve many different types of conditions, including depression, anxiety, chronic pain, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Meditation also can improve focus, concentration, creativity, and learning and reasoning skills.


Meditation works its “magic” by changing the actual brain. Brain images show that regular mediators have more activity in the left prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with feelings of joy and equanimity. Meditation also increases the thickness of the cerebral cortex and encourages more connections between brain cells—all of which increases mental sharpness and memory ability.
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6.  Bulk Up On Brain-Boosting Foods

Just as the body needs fuel, so does the brain. You probably know already that a diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and “healthy” fats will provide lots of health benefits, but such a diet can also improve memory. But for brain health, it’s not just what you eat—it’s also what you don’t eat. The following nutritional tips will help boost your brainpower and reduce your risk of dementia.

Get your omega-3s.
Limit saturated fat.
Eat more fruit and vegetables.
Drink wine (or grape juice) in moderation.
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7.  Give Your Brain A Workout

By the time you’ve reached adulthood, your brain has developed millions of neural pathways that help you process information quickly, solve familiar problems, and execute familiar tasks with a minimum of mental effort. But if you always stick to these well-worn paths, you aren’t giving your brain the stimulation it needs to keep growing and developing. You have to shake things up from time to time! Memory, like muscular strength, requires you to “use it or lose it.” The more you work out your brain, the better you’ll be able to process and remember information. The best brain exercising activities break your routine and challenge you to use and develop new brain pathways. The activity can be virtually anything, so long as it meets the following three criteria: 1. It’s new 2.It’s challenging 3.It’s fun.
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8.  Pay Attention
Sometimes the reaction to a frustrating search for your glasses is - "There I go again, my memory is slipping." Your memory ability may be just fine. The problem may be not paying attention. The simple step of developing a habit of actively paying attention can save much frustration.

Example: Perhaps you have had to search for your car keys, been in doubt as to whether or not you took your morning medication correctly, or found yourself in a room wondering what you came searching for?

Memory exercise: Pay attention - stop - look - listen. It takes no more than a second to say, "I am putting the keys in my jacket pocket."
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9.  Rehearse – Repeat

Information must be rehearsed to be placed properly in long-term memory.

Example: You are in the shower and get an idea you wish to discuss with your spouse. You can't make a note, and you don't want that great new idea to slip away. What to do?

Memory exercise: You must rehearse ( repeat to yourself) your idea to talk to your spouse. You may forget if you used shampoo and a conditioner, but you'll remember your new idea.
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10.  Chunk

Most people have the ability to remember short lists, such as in a phone number, if they group - or chunk - the list items.

Example: Chunking to remembering a ten digit phone number.

Memory exercise: Chunking will aid working memory. A 10- digit number 3013661755 can be remembered easily as 301 366 1755. Three (3) chunks not ten (10).
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11.  Use Cues
There are two strategies that can be used here. Visual elaboration is simply creating a mental snapshot to help enhance a memory. Memory exercise: In addition to rehearsal, to remember to make the call when you return home you create a visual image. The visual image should be associated with a very familiar object. You may visualize a telephone hanging on your front door. Result, when you return home, the sight of your front door reminds you of the telephone and the need to make the call.

The other option is verbal elaboration, which is a simple and effective memory exercise for conceptual and abstract information. A reminder of some of the verbal elaborations you have been using throughout your life include: Acronyms, word associations, and rhymes.

HOMES - Remember the great lakes? Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior IRS and PTA. Do you really need to be reminded?

SPRING FORWARD, FALL BACK - Reset your clock twice a year.

THIRTY DAYS HAS SEPTEMBER - rhymes work.
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12.  Get Organized

Once you have fixed locations for all medications, important phone numbers, valuable papers, useful tools, and keys, wallets, and glasses you will minimize the frustrating searches for a misplaced item.

Example: Proper organization for placement and use of medications requires careful thought. Individuals often take medications for different needs, at different times, in different locations.

Memory exercise: List your medication needs by time and place to be taken. Medications taken before, with, or after meals are usually stored in the kitchen. You must also plan for times you do not eat at home. Other medications, for example, eye drops, lotions and ointments located in other places in your home must be organized as well.
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13.  Mind Your P Q R S T

P Q R S T is a five step memory and learning exercise designed to organize text material written with too much "fine print." Examples include, using an ATM machine, programming a VCR, reading a new insurance policy, or understanding the regulations of your IRA, the new Roth IRA account, or a pension fund.


"P" refers to preview, to skim the text to identify the main points.

"Q" suggests that you create questions that identify the essential points you want to learn.

“R" indicates rereading the material to be able to answer your previously generated questions.

"S" requires that you study and understand the answers to the questions raised concerning the central ideas.

"T" Test yourself to be sure you understand the answers.

Example: You want to program your new VCR even though the directions, at first glance, look complex and written in a foreign language.Reread and study the instructions until you feel you can perform the task. Test yourself by taping a program. Eureka, it really is simple.
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14.  Increase Your Use of External Aids
Everyone uses external aids, but are they used to full benefit? Probably not. Who has not said, "I forgot to make a note?" We suggest you keep all emergency and prospective information as visible as you can. Use: Appointment books, memo pads, clock radios, timers, take-away spots - (near the door, in the hall, on the refrigerator). As well as symbolic reminders - some version of the string around your finger. Use your imagination and invent some new external memory aids.
Example: You forgot to keep your dental appointment. Because of your busy schedule, you forgot to refer to your appointment calendar.
Memory exercise: Though you use external aids, you must keep them in appropriate and easily accessible places.
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15.  Studying Exercise and Memory

The new study appears in the early online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

First, Small's team put running wheels in the cages of 23 mice. For comparison, another 23 mice had no access to running wheels. As expected, the mice with the running wheels in their cages took full advantage of their exercise gear. They ran on the wheels without any training or encouragement.

Two weeks later, the scientists gave the mice a dye shot to mark new brain cells in the memory-related brain area. After four more weeks, the scientists checked the mice's brains.

The exercising mice had more evidence of new brain cells and more blood flow in the memory-related brain area. The mice with no running wheels in their cages had no new brain cells and no increased blood flow in that brain area.
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16.  From the Couch to the Treadmill

Next, the researchers focused on people. They recruited 11 healthy volunteers aged 21-45 (average age: 33) with below-average levels of aerobic fitness.

First, participants completed memory tests and an aerobic fitness test. They also got brain scans using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Next, participants shed their sedentary ways. The researchers assigned them to work out for an hour, four times weekly for three months, at Columbia University's fitness center.

The workout routine: Warm up for five minutes at a low intensity on a stationary bike or treadmill, stretch for five minutes, do 40 minutes of aerobic training (on a stationary bike, treadmill, stair machine, or elliptical trainer), and cool down and stretch for 10 minutes.
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17.  Work Out, Boost Memory

After three months of exercise, participants repeated the memory tests, aerobic fitness tests, and MRI brain scan. Those follow-up tests showed an increase in blood flow to the memory-related brain area, better scores on the memory tests, and improvements in aerobic fitness.

The researchers didn't use a dye test to check for new brain cells in the exercisers' brains. So the study doesn't prove that exercise boosted human brain cell production, though exercise apparently had that effect on mice. The next step is to figure out what exercise regimen is most beneficial for memory, Small notes. He suggests that doctors may one day be able to prescribe specific types of exercise to improve memory.

Meanwhile, be sure to check in with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you've been physically inactive for a while.
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18.  Memory Exercises for Kids
For our first memory games for kids, you can be at the beach or in the park. Firstly, you will draw images, numbers, shapes, letters, animals, and birds in the sand. Let your kid see the images and then smudge them away. Give a long stick to your kid and ask him/her to draw the same images that you had just a minute ago. This exercise/game keeps kids entertained, do a quick revision, and remember.
What Am I Wearing?
This exercise/game can be played with kids of different ages. Plus this exercise can be done with more than one kid. Stand in front of the kid(s) and ask him/her to examine you properly. To be more specific, have the kid examine what you're wearing and make a mental note of everything. Then have him/her write down everything that he/she remembers right from the scrunchie to shoes. For more games and exercises, read the Buzzle article on memory games for children for details.
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19.  Memory Exercises for College Students
Word Power

You might be surprised to learn but our brain can store millions of, and different, facts. All it requires is a boost to remember them all properly. For college students, they need to make a list of words. But not just any words; they need to write down 20 concrete, abstract, and nonsense words (each) in less than 5 minutes. You will make a list of 30 concrete, abstract, and nonsense words (each) and they get 5 minutes to go over them. When the time starts, keep the list aside and write down as many words as they can remember.

Closed Eyes
If you wish to learn how to improve memory and concentration, then this next exercise is very helpful. While showering and getting dressed in the mornings, you will keep your eyes closed for the entire time. This is called neurobic exercise; a kind of a mental aerobic exercise that keeps your brain active at all times.
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20.  Memory Exercises for Adults

There are many techniques to improve memory for adults. For our first exercise, place a deck of cards in front of you, face down. Now open 2 cards at a time so you can make pairs. When you get same numbers on the cards, remove the pair and get to the others. This way, you need to make pairs with all the cards.
Blind Puzzle
Here's another memory games for adults. Get a simple jigsaw puzzle and place the pieces in front of you. Examine the image properly and blindfold yourself. One by one, take the pieces to complete the image. Feel the pieces with your fingers and try to place them accordingly.
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