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We all go to the gym day in and day out, working on our best and healthiest bodies, but do you workout your brain?  Just like your body, your brain is aging as well and it needs a workout too!  Here are some tricks to keep your brain alert, sharp, and focused.

reytMake a list of groceries, to-do’s, or even just a list for this exercise.  Write down several items and try to memorize them.  Give yourself some time and then see how many you can remember.  Memory contests like this will test your memory and also help strengthen it as well.  Even if you have your spouse tell you a couple words and then have them quiz you later, this is a surefire way to keep that memory solid.

57lLearn a foreign language!  This is not only helpful for an ever-growing brain, but can also help you at work.  Learning a new language stimulates the brain in ways that other brain-training does not.  Try an app called DuoLingo, it’s free and offers training in almost every language you can think of.  If you live somewhere that there are people who speak another language, choose that language, to not only work your brain, but to be able to converse with them as well.  If you don’t like the idea of learning a new language, you can just learn new words in your primary language.  A prosperous vocabulary has been linked to a reduced risk for cognitive deterioration, so download the dictionary app and learn a new word each day!

ewrTake up a new hobby to improve your hand-eye coordination.  You can learn to play an instrument, knit, or simply play a video game.  These pastimes are enjoyable, but are also working your brain!  Coordination is a huge part of our day to day lives whether it is driving to work or sitting at a computer for hours.  You can go online and take typing tests or hit the backyard and play catch.  All of these will improve your hand-eye coordination, all the while, giving your brain a workout.

derytyMeditation is a great way to give your brain a rest, but can also boost your attention span immensely.  Focus on your day, focus on your tasks tomorrow, and think about the best way to achieve each of your goals.  Sitting in a quiet room, focusing on your breathing can be a great workout for your brain.  It helps to notice the little things and be more mindful throughout the day.  It doesn’t take long for this tip to improve your attention, so take 10 minutes each morning and you should notice a difference within the week.

So if you decide to start playing Sudoku or love a good crossword, these are secretly giving your brain a workout as well.  There are websites and apps to train your brain if you don’t know where to start.  Try for a nice brain tester or download the app Brain It On! for a workout on the go.  No matter how you choose to put your brain to the test, it needs to be part of your schedule to keep your brain healthy and fit.