10 Brain Exercises to Help Keep You Mentally Sharp

Try learning one of these tried-and-true card games:

  • solitaire
  • bridge
  • gin rummy
  • poker
  • hearts
  • crazy eights

3. Build your vocabulary

A rich vocabulary has a way of making you sound smart. But did you know you can also turn a quick vocab lesson into a stimulating brain game? Research shows that many more regions of the brain are involved in vocabulary tasks, particularly in areas that are important for visual and auditory processing. To test this theory, try this cognitive-boosting activity:

  • Keep a notebook with you when you read.
  • Write down one unfamiliar word, then look up the definition.
  • Try to use that word five times the next day.

4. Dance your heart out

The Centers for Disease Prevention and ControlTrusted Source notes that learning new dance moves can increase your brain’s processing speed and memory. In other words, bust a move on the dance floor and your brain will thank you.

Want to test it out? Give one of these dance activities a try:

  • Take a salsa, tap, hip-hop, or contemporary dance class.
  • Try a Zumba or jazz exercise class.
  • Watch an online video with fun dance moves you’ve always wanted to learn.
  • Grab a partner and learn to ballroom dance.
  • Gather your friends and go line dancing.

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