Brain Exercises You Should Do at Every Age

Brain Exercises You Should Do at Every Age

The general idea about brain health is that it declines as you age. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Multiple studies are finding that physical age doesn’t have to determine your brain age. As long as you stay physically active, socially engaged, and mentally stimulated, you can remain sharp well into your golden years.

Let’s take a look at some of the best brain exercises that you can do at any age to support your cognitive health.

Word and Number Puzzles

Whether you enjoy riddles, Sudoku, or old-fashioned crosswords, your favorite puzzle can help to improve your cognitive ability. Studies show that people who regularly work on word or number-based puzzles have the cognitive functioning ability of someone ten years younger.

What’s more, those same people were found to have better short-term memory. Researchers determined that by doing word and number puzzles on a regular basis, you can turn the clock back up to eight years from your brain's age when it comes to memory.

Learning a Language

Learning a second language can open up the world at large, helping you to experience a new culture and improve your brain health.

Studies show that actively learning and practicing a second language can enhance cognitive functioning. Modern technology has made it simple to learn a second (or third) language; there are many language apps available to you on your phone or tablet device such as DuoLingo. Experts recommend learning a language for at least fifteen minutes per day. 

Playing an Instrument

Did you play an instrument or were you part of a band when you were younger? Have you been thinking about learning to play an instrument, but you’re on the fence about it? Learning and regularly practicing an instrument has been shown to be beneficial for cognitive development and overall brain health.

One study found that subjects who were consistent with learning and playing an instrument had better attention spans, executive functioning, and overall memory. Researchers also suggested that learning an instrument could be an effective way to prevent cognitive decline. 

Video Games

Video games have had a tough road getting the respect they deserve. Once thought to lower intelligence and increase violent tendencies, video games have been shown to do just the opposite. One study found that there is no correlation between violent video games and real-life violence. The games that make you come up with strategies are actually good for your brain!

Studies have found that video games requiring you to make fast-paced decisions can increase spatial attention or how quickly you notice differences in your environment. Video gamers were also found to be better at actively managing multiple tasks at the same time. Overall, the study showed that gamers had a higher overall cognition when compared to those who did not play video games.

Jigsaw Puzzles

If you’re trying to spend less time staring at a screen, jigsaw puzzles are also an excellent way to boost your cognitive ability.

Studies suggest that subjects who regularly put jigsaw puzzles together are at a lower risk of developing cognitive disorders. For those who are beginning to suffer from cognitive decline, jigsaw puzzles could be an effective and relatively inexpensive way to boost your brain power.

Young or Old – Start Now! 

It doesn’t matter if you're seventeen or seventy years old, the key to better cognitive health is to start doing brain exercises now and keep it up for the years to come. Try one or more of the brain exercises listed above and let us know your progress after a few weeks!



David Sautter is a NASM certified personal trainer and a NASM certified fitness nutrition specialist who has worked in the fitness industry for over 12 years.
During his time in the fitness industry, David Sautter has conducted many fitness workshops, trained hundreds of clients, and has written extensively for a variety of companies. He has been a featured fitness writer on many high-profile health and fitness websites. Aside from producing weekly articles, David has been the writer of several e-books and training guides.
Read more blog from David Sautter


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