10 Easy Ways to Keep Your Brain Active as You Age


As you get older, you no doubt recognize the importance of keeping your body active. With every doctor visit the need to exercise, eat right, and stay fit becomes more and more apparent, but what about your brain?

Exercising your brain could prove as critical for your longevity and good health as running five miles a day or doing laps in the pool. Study after study has shown that keeping the brain active as you age can result in lower rates of cognitive decline and other positive health consequences. The good news is it does not take much time or effort to keep your mind active, and you can start with these 10 simple mind building exercises.

  1. Learn a new word every day – Even if it has been years since you saw a paper dictionary, you can still grow your vocabulary by looking up unfamiliar words online or using a word a day app.
  2. Do crossword puzzles – Working a daily crossword puzzle is a great way to challenge yourself and exercise your brain, especially if you use your growing skills to work your way up to new levels of difficulty.
  3. Play board games – The board games of your youth still have value, and playing them can help you build your brain and retain your cognitive abilities as you age. Board games are also a great way to bond with friends and family, so pull them out of the closet and get started.
  4. Engage with others – Simply engaging with other people is good for your brain, so get out and take a walk, talk to the neighbors, or just chat online.
  5. Read a book – Whether you pick up the latest bestseller, revisit a favorite novel from your youth, or engage with the latest scientific or political treatise, reading is good exercise for your brain, so find a comfy chair, turn on the lights and sink into the world on the page.
  6. Paint a picture – You do not have to be the next Picasso or the reincarnation of Van Gogh to pick up a paintbrush. Even if the results will never adorn a gallery wall, creating your own art will be enjoyable for you, and good for your brain.
  7. Take a class – It is never too late to learn something new, and taking a class is a great way to keep your brain active as you age. Many colleges allow adult students to audit classes or sit in on virtual lectures at no charge, so learning something new will be easy on the wallet.
  8. Balance your checkbook – In the age of digital banking and ATM withdrawals, balancing a checkbook has become something of a lost art, but it can still serve its purpose. Adding up all those numbers is good exercise for your brain, especially if you forgo the calculator and do it the old fashioned way.
  9. Listen to music – Whether you favor the classics or the newest tunes the kids are listening to, music is good for your brain and your mental well being. You can sing and dance along or just listen, but music has the potential to engage and exercise your brain.
  10. Keep your body busy – Exercising your body is actually a great way to exercise your brain, so get out and start moving. Something as simple as taking a walk can engage your brain and your feet.

Keeping your mind active as you age is very important, and the older you get the more value this kind of mental engagement will become. Whether you want to slow down the aging process, keep your wits sharp or reduce the risk of cognitive decline, mental exercise is good for you, and you do not have to go out of your way to get it done. The 10 simple tips listed above can help you keep your mind active no matter what your age.





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