Officially, the brain is an organ. Unofficially, it’s a “muscle” of thinking. Here are some ideas to help attain your quest for mental fitness.

Game on!

Brain-teaser games, like crossword puzzles and Sudoku, improve your brain’s speed and memory. They rely on logic, word skills, and math. Many games tend to be solitary, so find ways and games to play with friends.

Cultivate relationships.

Relationships help you stay engaged with the world and challenge mental functioning on many levels.

Live with meaning and purpose.

Find an interest and become involved. Devote yourself to a cause or engage in lifelong learning. You will meet people, remain active, and have something for your brain to “chew” on all day.

Learn a new skill.

Take piano lessons. Paint by numbers. Study a foreign language. Learning new skills works and challenges numerous areas of the brain.

Exercise.

Exercise not only keeps your body fit and your heart healthy; it also improves mental functioning. Exercise enhances memory and improves thinking since your brain has to learn new muscle skills, estimate distance, and practice balance. Vary your exercise to challenge your brain even more.

Don’t skimp on sleep.

A good night’s sleep – 7 ½ to 9 hours – improves memory, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and critical-thinking skills.