Now that we’re in the year 2016, many of us have made resolutions.  One of the best resolutions one can make is to maintain mental fitness.  Just as the body needs exercise, your mind requires  social and mental engagement for proper maintenance.  Activate your brain with fun activities.

Board and number games help stimulate your brain.  It’s no wonder that  Bingo is popular in retirement and nursing homes, as those who play the game experience fewer memory problems and have better hand-eye coordination than those who don’t.  Brain teasers like crossword puzzles, word searches, Rubik’s cubes, playing Scrabble® or chess are all great for keeping your mind in good working condition.

Stimulate your synapses  by undertaking new activities. Take up a new hobby or craft.  Take an online course.  Learn a new foreign language or brush up your skills in one you’ve nearly forgotten. Walk or drive a new way to work. Visit local museums and other attractions in the area using Discover and Go.  Learn to play an instrument like drums or piano, which requires performing different actions with your hands and feet.  Use your opposite hand to brush your teeth, eat, dial a telephone or move a computer mouse. This switch will force your brain to invent new pathways for  controlling physical movement.

Stimulate your senses!  Brush your teeth or get dressed while keeping your eyes closed – you are allowed to cheat and open your eyes to make sure you are putting on the right garments and that your outfit is color-coordinated!  Multi-tasking doesn’t have to be stressful – use several senses at the same time; for example, take a hike while listening to an audio book or music, or explore the texture of leaves and tree bark while listening to bird songs.