Your Tool Box for an Active Mind [INFOGRAPHIC]

Just as going to the gym keeps you physically fit, your brain also needs exercise to stay healthy – it is a muscle, after all! There are lots of ways to boost your mental fitness, like reading books, doing puzzles, and playing games. Here are some fun activities you can do to challenge your brain, and keep your mind sharp and healthy.

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Language Learning

Enroll in a language class, or find some instructive audio tapes and teach yourself. Learning a foreign language requires your brain to learn new ways to express thoughts, and communicate ideas – and, of course, it broadens your horizons as you learn about other cultures around the world.

Brain Benefits

  • Increases brain size
  • Improves brain function
  • Improves concentration
  • Increases attunement to auditory information
  • Improves mental flexibility

Board and Card Games

Grab a deck of cards, and invite a few friends! Playing games builds social skills, like cooperation and dealing with wins and losses. Most games also pack an intellectual punch, keeping your mind sharp throughout the years.

Brain Benefits

  • Builds problem solving skills
  • Improves eye-hand coordination
  • Sharpens memory skills
  • Reduces risk of cognitive decline
  • Speeds up response times


Crosswords, Sudoku, and other puzzles stimulate the mind, and engage the brain in a mental challenge. In fact, The Alzheimer’s Association recommends picking up puzzles to help stave off dementia.

Brain Benefits

  • Improves pattern recognition
  • Enhances verbal skills
  • Builds problem solving skills
  • Alzheimer’s prevention
  • Improves memory and logic


Digging into a good book is one of the best ways to expand your vocabulary, and develop imagination. The human brain changes and grows throughout our lives – reading improves brain circuit connections that relate to our ability to recognize written words.

Brain Benefits

  • Enhances verbal skills
  • Improves focus and concentration
  • Increases social well-being
  • Builds imagination
  • Improves memory


Coloring books are often used to reduce stress and anxiety, in both children and adults. Coloring allows for introspective time, giving you the opportunity to get your creative juices flowing, and focus only on the tranquil task at hand.

Brain Benefits

  • Builds mindfulness and attention to detail
  • Improves emotional and mental health
  • Increases focus and concentration
  • Improves fine motor skills
  • Delays dementia
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