We all know that physical activity is super important for keeping our body in a healthy condition. The same applies to our minds; they need stimulation so we can stay sharp and think properly. There are a number of ways to train your brain to stay mentally fit, but one of the best ways is actually through playing games that stimulate the mind. There are a huge number of games that you can play, from simple ones such as jigsaw puzzles to more complex games such as online poker and chess. Not only are these games great fun to play, but they also help your mind to stay healthy and improve your cognitive skills.
The first game on this list may be something that you wouldn’t normally have thought of as being a mind-stimulating game; however, you would be incorrect! Jigsaw puzzles are actually a great way to stimulate your mind, as you get to use problem-solving and memory skills to help you to remember what pieces you have used, while also figuring out where the remaining pieces should go. One of the great things about jigsaw puzzles is that they come in all sorts of different sizes and difficulty levels, from 100-piece puzzles to 1,000-piece puzzles and above. After you complete a jigsaw you also get a huge sense of achievement as you see the final picture, which you can show off to your friends. You can also play jigsaw puzzle games online for free.
Poker is a card game that takes a lot of concentration and skill to play well. It’s therefore great for stimulating the mind, as you have to focus on the cards that have been dealt and figure out what cards other players might have to calculate your chance of winning. Poker games can also last a long time, which helps to train your brain to stay sharp over a sustained period. The more you practice, the better you will become at thinking deeply about possible outcomes in the game, which will translate into your everyday life as you become a lot better at solving problems throughout your life. The best part about poker is that you no longer have to visit your local casino to play; instead, you can play online and enjoy a game from the comfort of your own home.
Crossword puzzles are a good way to stimulate your mind in a different way from the games above as they incorporate both your memory and knowledge. They also improve your vocabulary, as you learn new words and play more games. Crosswords require you to think hard about possible words that fit the description and the number of letters available. Your long-term memory is trained as you recall definitions of words from your vocabulary that you wouldn’t normally use. Crosswords are easy to play and don’t require a lot of setup or equipment. You can use a crossword book that has hundreds of crosswords to play and you only need a pen. Alternatively, there are loads of crossword apps that you can download onto your mobile device that let you play on the go when you have some spare time.
Although chess is a game that has been around for an extremely long time, it remains one of the most mentally demanding games out there. This is because chess requires you to think about all of the possible consequences of a single move and calculate whether or not it puts you in a better position to defeat your opponent. In chess, a single bad move can cause you to lose the game, so you can’t afford to have a lapse in concentration. This trains your mind to think for long periods and recognize patterns, improving your memory as you recall moves that you have played before in previous games. Chess is traditionally played on a board with 16 pieces per player, 32 in total; however, thanks to recent advancements in technology, chess is now a lot more accessible. You can play chess online against opponents using your computer or your mobile phone, with a huge range of apps that you can download for free and play to your heart’s content.