Many of us spend time on our physical fitness, but are we doing the same for our mind? Science has proven that there are brain exercises that can help keep our minds sharp as a preventive factor for age-related cognitive decline. While it can’t be a cure-all, brain exercises can help to decrease the potential for future memory deterioration or loss, according to a 2019 study from researchers at Imperial College London. Another study examined almost 3,000 people and found that just ten 60-minute brain-training sessions over a five-week period successfully slowed their rate of cognitive decline. What’s more? There is an array of brain games that can make it fun, too!

APPS

Peak

Currently the #1 brain training app on the Apple iTunes store. Peak describes itself as “games designed to push you hard with short, intense workouts designed around your life.” A built-in coach pushes you to achieve the goals you set and reminds you where you should work to improve.

Elevate

A brain training game app for both android and iOS is a popular and free game app with more than 30 games that are designed to “boost productivity, earning power and self-confidence” in skills like math, reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Lumosity

The most popular brain training app and website and one of the most developed brain training and mental fitness websites around. It is also available as an app on the iPhone and Android. This program is rooted in science and they tout to have easy-to- learn brain games that stem from “cognitive training exercises developed by leading researchers.” Lumosity offers free games, a subscription service and adapts to your unique strengths and weaknesses.

PENCIL/PAPER

Crossword Puzzles

A classic way to exercise your brain using verbal language and many dimensions of knowledge. There are also many free and low-cost resources to do crossword puzzles available online, from the daily newspaper or of course the classic New York Times. It’s also a very fulfilling exercise and one that can be done peacefully.

Sudoku

Another classic puzzle game found in the daily newspaper or for free online. It is a number placement game that uses memory skills. Sudoku requires the player to plan their future moves, which can help improve memory and concentration.

WEB

Braingle

A little more basic in nature and claims to have the largest collection of brain teasers available including puzzles, trivia and “metalrobics,” which are daily brain exercises. There’s also an active forum of game users and the ability to create your own puzzles to give your brain a super workout.

My Brain Trainer

An online “brain gym.” Although it is a subscription service, it costs less than Lumosity and Happy Neuron. You can try a challenge for free as well. This website contains games, puzzles and other challenges to improve your brain fitness. The website recommends 10 minutes of brain training twice a day for the best effects.

BY TRACY WRIGHT