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Fun Mental Exercises to Keep Your Brain Sharp

Everyone has experienced a part of their day where there is nothing to be done. And while others may spend this time slacking off and wasting time, why not use this time to do fun and productive activities instead?

Mental exercises are fun and beneficial activities that mimic regular games or are disguised as regular activities but are actually aimed to keep your brain performing at its best. Mental exercises come in all kinds and procedures, but all share the same fundamental goal, which is to keep you both entertained and educated.

Why you should do mental exercises

1. Keeps the brain in good condition

The primary goal of mental exercises is to keep your brain in tip-top condition. As we often live sedentary lives, it is important to not only exercise our body for it to perform well, but also our brains to keep it from forgetting all the things we have learned.

2. Promotes better retrieval of memories

A lot of mental exercises are aimed to promote better memory retrieval, which is another benefit of mental exercises. Mental exercise often forces you to revisit the neuron chains made when you first stored information, thus strengthening and reinforcing these neuron links which aids in better memory retrieval.

3. A fun challenge to pass time

A lot of mental exercises are aimed to promote better memory retrieval, which is another benefit of mental exercises. Mental exercise often forces you to revisit the neuron chains made when you first stored information, thus strengthening and reinforcing these neuron links which aids in better memory retrieval.

Fun mental exercises you should try

There are a lot of mental exercise out there. Some are aimed for specific brain functions, while others are aimed for general neural performance. Here are few fun yet effective mental exercises you can try alone or with others to keep your brain sharp:

1. Solve a jigsaw puzzle

One of the best and most classic mental exercise you can try is the one and only jigsaw puzzle. These types of puzzles come in different shapes, sizes, as well as the number of pieces included in the puzzle. You can never run out of jigsaw puzzles to solve.

A jigsaw puzzle sharpens your brain’s performance through problem solving. Your imagination and problem-solving skills will be put to the test especially when you try solving a jigsaw puzzle under a time limit.

Another thing that that is great about jigsaw puzzles a as mental exercise is that it doesn’t need any other participant other than yourself, which will allow you to exercise your brain even if you don’t have someone to accompany you.

And time is not an issue in this mental exercise as well as you can always set the puzzle aside when you have something else to do and come back to it later on. Unless, of course, if you can finish solving a jigsaw puzzle with a thousand pieces in under an hour.

2. The vocabulary game

One of the best and most classic mental exercise you can try is the one and only jigsaw puzzle. These types of puzzles come in different shapes, sizes, as well as the number of pieces included in the puzzle. You can never run out of jigsaw puzzles to solve.

A jigsaw puzzle sharpens your brain’s performance through problem solving. Your imagination and problem-solving skills will be put to the test especially when you try solving a jigsaw puzzle under a time limit.

Another thing that that is great about jigsaw puzzles a as mental exercise is that it doesn’t need any other participant other than yourself, which will allow you to exercise your brain even if you don’t have someone to accompany you.

And time is not an issue in this mental exercise as well as you can always set the puzzle aside when you have something else to do and come back to it later on. Unless, of course, if you can finish solving a jigsaw puzzle with a thousand pieces in under an hour.

3. Play some card games

Cards have a bad reputation as they are often associated with gambling and vices. However, you will be surprised to discover the hidden mechanics and mathematics behind playing cards.

Most card players often rely on a technique called “card counting” in order to increase their chances of winning their gambles and bets. This is a technique where the player memorizes the cards already thrown in the table and the cards in his hands to make educated guesses of the cards that are in his opponents’ hands. And if you just remove the gambling aspect of this technique, it will become a very entertaining mental exercise. Here are a few card games that will help you get started:

• Solitaire

Solitaire is a great option when you have no one to play with. It still utilizes the same card counting technique but is relatively easier as you have no opponents. This game can help you practice your card counting skills and sharpen your memory at the same time due to its unique game mechanics.

• Lucky 9

Lucky 9 is often a game played by children but is still winnable if you apply the card counting technique. The rules are as follow: each player is dealt two cards and is then asked to add the value of the cards they got, with jacks, queens, and kings all having a value of 10. However, the tenth place is completely disregarded and the highest value you can get is 9.

This is a great way to try out card counting that includes multiple players as the cards that have been dealt to the players get discarded and the players will only change decks once the previous deck has been fully discarded. The longer the game runs, the harder it will be to keep track of the previously dealt cards and will really challenge your memory.

4. Play an instrument

Nothing makes the fun in fun mental exercises stand out more than learning to play an instrument. Yes, it takes considerably long to master and instrument and requires a lot of effort, but you can always take it slow and easy by picking up your instrument every time you have free time.

Playing any instrument improves your neuromuscular control and also reinforces memory retrieval as you have to constantly remember what chords to play and how to form them using your fingers. Each musical piece requires a different set of chords, notes, and beating, which will really challenge your memory retention once you have learned to play more than 20 pieces.

5. Discover a new language

Learning a new language takes time and effort just as much as learning an instrument does, but the only difference is that you are enhancing your memory and real-time decision-making skills. Communication requires you to understand what the other person is saying, think of a response, translate that response to whatever language the other person is using, and enunciate your response, all in the course of a few seconds.

This will surely challenge and sharpen your brain as this process is repeated over and over again every time someone strikes a conversation with you using the language you are learning. Learning a new language will surely sharpen your brain while also expanding the domain of your communication skills.

6. Play the concentration game

If you felt like the vocabulary game was fun but isn’t really interested in increasing your vocabulary, then you might want to try the concentration game. This game is designed to enhance your concentration as well as your math skills.

The rules for the game are quite simple and easy to follow. However, you do need more than one person to play this game. First, you form a circle with your friends and decide the order of the rotation. Next, each individual will say one number that is a multiple of 3 that is not lower than the previous number. Then, if someone mentions a number that is divisible by 7, every participant has to clap. The individuals who failed to clap or clapped even if the number was not divisible by 7 will be given a punishment.

This will challenge your skills in mathematics and how quick you can do divisions in your head to avoid the punishment. This can help you maintain your brain’s edge and concentration while also having fun with your friends. Just be sure to observe good sportsmanship and you will enjoy and benefit from every moment you play this game.

7. Meditate

If you felt like the vocabulary game was fun but isn’t really interested in increasing your vocabulary, then you might want to try the concentration game. This game is designed to enhance your concentration as well as your math skills.

The rules for the game are quite simple and easy to follow. However, you do need more than one person to play this game. First, you form a circle with your friends and decide the order of the rotation. Next, each individual will say one number that is a multiple of 3 that is not lower than the previous number. Then, if someone mentions a number that is divisible by 7, every participant has to clap. The individuals who failed to clap or clapped even if the number was not divisible by 7 will be given a punishment.

This will challenge your skills in mathematics and how quick you can do divisions in your head to avoid the punishment. This can help you maintain your brain’s edge and concentration while also having fun with your friends. Just be sure to observe good sportsmanship and you will enjoy and benefit from every moment you play this game.

If you liked what you have read and want to learn more, then consider visiting us at FamilyTutor. We are Singapore’s leading home tuition agency, with thousands of highly skilled and capable tutors. We offer private tuition for everyone starting from pre-school all the way up to university students, and help our students strengthen their minds. We also make sure to that our rates are at market value to ensure you get quality home tuition at a reasonable price.

Carelle

Carelle

Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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