Brain Training: 12 Fast, Fun Mental Workouts

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  • 07 Nov 2023
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Exercise is beneficial to more than just your physical health. Maintaining your mental strength through entertaining mental workouts is equally vital.

Consider your mental and physical fitness in the same way: you don't need to be an Olympian to live well, but you do need to stay in good condition. A few cognitive workouts per week can have a significant impact on your life.

The Skinny on Mental Workouts

Physical fitness improves your stamina and muscular strength. However, the advantages of working up a mental sweat and brain exercise may not be so obvious.

According to research, cognitive training provides both short- and long-term benefits, including:


Nineteen arithmetic students had a larger and more active hippocampus than their counterparts after eight weeks of cognitive training. The hippocampus is linked to memory and learning.



Learning becomes less stressful when new tasks are mastered more rapidly. A better memory can recall facts with less effort.



Learning rapidly and memorizing crucial details might help you advance in your work. Employers are increasingly looking for soft qualities like trainability and attention to detail when hiring.



Cognitive deterioration occurs as we age. According to a research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 10 one-hour sessions of cognitive training improved reasoning and information processing speed in seniors aged 65 to 94.

The precise workout isn't as vital as it is in physical exercise. Cognitive training must be simple and enjoyable in order to be sustainable. Otherwise, it's all too easy to give up.

Fun Brain Training Exercises for Everyone

What's the finest thing about enjoyable mental exercises? There's no need to go to the gym. For everyday brain training, feel free to mix and match the following activities:


One of the simplest and most straightforward methods of stimulating your brain? Creating solutions to a problem you're facing.

If you struggle with solitary brainstorming, enlist the help of a companion. When I'm stuck for themes to write about, I call up my editors to bounce ideas around. Friends and coworkers are frequently eager to assist.


Isn't dancing a form of exercise? Yes, but the coordination required is also excellent for brain training. It's also a lot of fun.

According to research, dance improves a variety of cognitive functions. A few sophisticated processes appear to aid planning, memorizing, organizing, and creativity.


It takes time to learn a new language. It's easier than you think if you break it down into little, everyday courses.

Every lesson in language learning builds on the previous one. I utilized Guru for knowledge management when I was learning Spanish. Every time I learned a new verb tense, I'd make a new card to refresh my memory before moving on.


Hobbies, like languages, require time to develop. But that's part of the fun: each time you do them, you get a bit better—both at the pastime and in terms of brain function.

If you want to train your brain and improve a specific cognitive skill, pick a hobby that is related to it.


Playing a board game isn't much of a physical workout, but it is a great brain workout. However, not all board games are equally effective for cognitive training.

Candy Land and other "no-brainer" board games should be avoided. Choose strategy games like Risk or Settlers of Catan. Remember to solicit feedback from other gamers.


Card games, like board games, help to develop cognitive skills. They do, however, have a few additional benefits that merit careful consideration.

A deck of cards is cheap and can be played anywhere, from the kitchen to the plane. More importantly, a deck of cards allows you to play a variety of games. Make a goal of learning a few in the afternoon.


Puzzles are excellent tools for developing a particular cognitive skill: visuospatial function. The visuospatial function is critical to train because it is one of the first abilities to deteriorate in people suffering from cognitive illnesses such as Alzheimer's.

Choose a puzzle that you will complete. There's no shame in beginning with a 500-piece puzzle or selecting one with a juvenile image.


Music is an excellent way to unwind. Playing music, on the other hand, takes a step further. It not only entertains you, but it also serves as a fun brain workout.

Choose an instrument that you know you'll stick with. If you've always wanted to study the violin, don't acquire a guitar just because it's cheaper or easier to learn.

What if you don't have the money to buy an instrument? Sing. Learning to control your voice is just as difficult as learning to play a set of keys or strings.


Not all cognitive workouts are noisy and in your face. Quiet, lonely hobbies are, in fact, some of the most enjoyable brain workouts. Meditating can help you focus, especially if you have attention problems.


Nothing beats a nice, extended chat for brain stimulation. The issue is depth: surface-level banter does not stimulate the mind in the same way that a meaningful, honest conversation does. This form of discourse aids in the development of your brain's ability to think deeply and reflect.

Choose your mate with care. You want someone to challenge your ideas without being hostile. Stress is bad for your brain, but coming up with clever arguments can help.


When you think about it, cooking necessitates a diverse set of cognitive abilities. A good memory is required for developing a cook's intuition. It needs attention to detail to ensure that flavors are harmonized. When something goes wrong in the kitchen, problem-solving abilities are required. Stirring, flipping, and whisking all need motor control.

If you're going to cook, why not make plenty for everyone? Invite them into the kitchen as well: collaborating with other cooks adds another element of difficulty to this enjoyable mental workout.


Mentorship is an excellent mental workout, whether you are the mentee or the mentor. Learning from someone you admire combines the benefits of in-depth conversation with skill development. Teaching another person forces you to put yourself in their shoes, which necessitates empathy and problem-solving abilities.

Place yourself in both scenarios. Being a student makes you a better teacher, and teaching others teaches you about how you learn.

Final Thoughts

Your mind is your most valuable possession, and training your brain is necessary to keep it healthy. Don't let it soften.

Add a few fun mental workouts to your calendar to keep those neurons blazing at full speed. And if you're still having trouble getting your mind to work.

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