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Keeping the mind sharp: Free brain tools

The old adage of “use it or lose it” can go for many things, but your mind might be the most important.

While there are gyms and classes to help with keeping your body in tip-top condition, your mind is more of a solitary activity. Luckily there are many things that you can do for free that will keep your brain healthy!

Brain Training Apps
We’ll get the technological one out of the way first. If you have a smart device such as a smartphone or tablet than you can access some free brain training apps from the app store. A lot of these are in the form of puzzles and games that will keep your entertained while giving your brain a metal workout.

Puzzles
Love putting together tough puzzles? How are you at sudoku? All of these games have an amazing benefit for your brain. The problem solving and satisfaction from competition not only release “happy” hormones into your body that make you feel better but they give the brain a fantastic work out.

Imagination and writing
Ever wanted to write that novel? Or maybe even a short story or two? Using your imagination and writing things down are a fantastic way to keep your mind sharp. The physical act of writing, instead of typing, is another exercise that your brain loves to do. Even if you don’t like to come up with new stories, writing down what happened that week or day in your life also have some great benefits.

With your partner or friends
A fun and brain beneficial workout is a game of charades. It doesn’t have to be a big formal game, the next time you are having dinner, try not to talk, instead communicate through gestures and motions. It’s a fun game that will release some endorphins but it will also break a mental sweat.