The brain is one of the most important organs in our body. Not only does it control our actions, it also enables us to have feelings and memories.

Just like how we exercise our body to stay healthy, we also need to exercise our minds. Keeping your brain sharp can help lower the risks of diseases such as dementia and can significantly improve our cognitive functioning and general quality of life.

There are many ways that you can give your brain the regular workouts that it needs, including learning new skills or participating in new hobbies. Listed below are a few tried and tested brain training ideas, using a combination of these will help to keep your brain active and performing well:

Learn a new language

Learning a new language is a difficult and time-consuming task, but one that has many benefits. A new language can help advance your career, connect with new people and boost your confidence.

Another reason to learn a new language is the impact it can have on your brain function. It has been proven that people who speak more than one language have better problem solving and critical thinking skills, as well as better memories.

Multilingual people are more able to multitask, are more creative and have increased listening skills. There are so many reasons to give learning a new language a try.

People learning a new language will often do so through a college course and course at a community center, however there are many online language learning apps that can help to get you started.

Play skill based games

No one said that training your brain needs to be a chore, there are many ways you can have fun at the same time. For example, competitive people will enjoy playing card games such as poker.

Poker is a good strategy game that involves difficult decision making and the ability to keep your cool. Playing in sit and go poker tournaments will help to challenge your brain and give you the opportunity to play with others and make new connections.

When playing games such as poker, you can not expect to be an expert straight away. It can take time and patience to develop your own strategy and begin to learn from your mistakes.

Learn to play an instrument

Learn to play an instrument

Another brain training activity is learning how to play a new instrument. This is one activity that will help you to improve your memory over time.

There are so many musical instruments that you can choose from, such as piano, guitar, violin or the flute. Your instrument choice may be impacted by your budget and the level of musical skills you already have.

Learning how to play an instrument can also be a great social activity as people often learn in groups. However, as with learning a language, there are free or low cost online resources to help get you started.


Stress and anxiety is not ideal for keeping your brian healthy and one way you can help to improve your mindset and relax is through meditation. Meditation can actually help you to improve the way in which your brain processes information.

There are different types of meditation exercises, however in more examples a quiet, un-interrupted space is required. A comfortable posture such as sitting or lying down can be helpful, so too can having an object, word, or breathing technique to focus on.

Meditation is considered to be a very safe activity that most people are able to participate in in some way.

Take up tai chi

Take up tai chi

Another activity great for relaxation is tai chi. When doing tai chi regularly, people often find core strength training helps calm anxiety, resulting in people being more relaxed, less stressed and even have improved quality of sleep. Improving your mental state through tai chi can also help to improve your memory. Even going for intense cardiovascular runs  can improve your oxygen levels and lung functions.

Tai chi is best when done in a class where you can learn new movements alongside a group of people with a similar skill level. Once you have the basics down, you will be more able to practice tai chi independently.

Teach a new skill to someone else

Teaching a skill that you have to someone else is a great way to test your own knowledge and ability. Teaching requires you to have a good grasp of the concept and encourage you to think about the activity in a new way.

Put together a new jigsaw puzzle

Lastly, a jigsaw puzzle is a great way to work on your problem solving abilities. Putting together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle takes extreme patience, critical thinking and can be really challenging.

To really stretch your brain, try to pick a jigsaw puzzle with over 1000 pieces or one with a particularly complex picture or pattern. One completed, you could exchange puzzles with friends so that you keep having new puzzles to solve.

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