By Jeff Watson | Data Rangers

Although there will always be tasks that are easier to perform when we are younger, our brains continue learning and growing throughout our lifetimes. Regardless of age, it is always possible to find new ways to stimulate your brain – and research has shown that learning new skills has a variety of health benefits. There are many ways to make learning more fun, including educational games and puzzles for boosting your brainpower at any age.

Here are some of our favorites…

Sudoku

Sudoku is one of the most popular numbers games for people of all ages. More than just fun and games, this mathematical puzzle game is great for your brain health. Levels become harder as you advance, and it is recommended that you take a few minutes to practice each day. Before you know it, your mind will be smarter, faster and happier!

The impressive list of Sudoku benefits include: improving memory, stimulating the mind, helping with mathematical skills, decreasing the risk of developing Alzheimers, learning to make quicker decisions, reducing hesitation, improve focus and concentration, and even boosting your mood.

Crossword Puzzles

Like Sudoku, crossword puzzles are another great way to pass the time during the winter months. In addition to being fun, crossword puzzles can actually improve fluency in the speech and language center of your brain. By practicing crossword puzzles, you are training your brain to find words quicker. For an added boost, try more advanced crossword puzzles that push your brain to the next level.

Some of the ways crossword puzzles help your brain include: fighting boredom, improving brain fluency, and helping your brain find words quicker and easier.

Trivia Games

Are you a trivia buff? If so, there are a variety of ways to enjoy sharing your trivia knowledge while boosting your brainpower. Trivial pursuit is a classic board game that comes in a variety of themes (such as trivia from pop culture or specific decades). Experts say trivia games are great for mental and emotional health.

For an extra boost, consider joining a trivia team and meeting up for weekly or monthly events and competitions. Trivia teams are a great way to challenge and stimulate your brain, and the social element has been proven to be beneficial for our minds, our mood, our health and our

vitality.

Chess

The classic game of chess has actually been proven beneficial by multiple research studies from around the world. In one study, chess was shown to improve IQ scores in both genders. More great news about chess: a separate study featured in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates people over the age of 75 years who play chess are less likely to develop dementia than their peers who don’t play chess. Checkmate!

As you can imagine, there’s no shortage of fun games and puzzles that motivate you to exercise your brain. These new and engaging activities keep your frontal cortex happy as you age, and can make you excited to keep learning more. The most important thing to remember, whether you’re practicing old skills or learning new ones, is to keep having fun!