Keeping your body in top fighting condition with a good diet and exercise is only half the battle for a healthy lifestyle. The real muscle that should be worked out constantly is your brain. As the command center of the body, the brain needs to be stimulated and challenged daily in order for the rest of the body to function like a well-oiled machine. For the adult that has seen the last of school days some years past, it can be a challenge to keep the mind active; but there are solutions. Certain activities or hobbies can act as stimulation for the brain, to promote improved brain function.

Here are a few examples:

Listening to Music
Music has been shown to improve the cognitive functioning and mental focus in healthy adults. It is a popular belief that classical music played while babies sleep will improve learning and is known as the “Mozart Effect.” It has been proven in certain studies that even plants benefit from listening to music. Some classroom settings will allow students to listen to music while taking a test because of the focus and better ability to recall knowledge. So turn up the stereo and if anybody complains it’s too loud, just tell them you’re doing brain exercises.

Driving In Cities
There are nine types of intelligence, and one of them is spacial intelligence, which involves the ability to map your environment. Instead of relying on your GPS for your next trip, try navigating without it. This will force you to use your spatial memory and acts as exercise for the brain.

Drawing in the margins while taking notes in school would bring the disapproval of your teacher, but studies have shown that students doodle because of a need to stimulate the brain. Art in all forms has the ability to broaden minds, and fuel imaginations. If you are one of those people that claim to have no artistic talent, keeping a pen and small notebook to draw shapes or designs while you wait at the doctor’s office can be just as helpful as an artist planning their next masterpiece.

Day Dreaming
While it may seem odd that letting your mind wander and day dream would be beneficial to brain function, experts say that it actually increases creativity and problem-solving ability. Thinking about your past adventures, or planning new ones, letting your mind flit from subject to tangent subject is all about working out the little grey cells.

There are many more activities and hobbies that can be enjoyed as brain exercises, these are just a few. Even just going for a walk in the fresh air may be stimulation enough to get the mental cogs and gears turning to keep the mind fresh and young.