The brain needs a workout the same as the body. When you flex the muscles of your brain, you’re helping to build pathways to memories from the past and you can recall them much easier.

If you want to maintain a healthy brain and keep building those neural pathways throughout old age, you’ve got to exercise your brain properly. Here are a few tips on exercising your brain so that you build those important memory muscles:

Make It Challenging

Any task that increases your knowledge can help flex your brain muscles. For example, you may want to learn a new language, game, sport or go back to school and take a class or two.

Make It Fun

If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, it’s not likely you’ll be able to focus on it. Choose brain activities which are fun and challenging – games such as Sudoku and crossword puzzles are excellent exercises.

Focus On the Task at Hand

Multi-tasking isn’t a good idea if you want to remember what you’re doing and how you did it. Your brain becomes confused when you’re trying to do too many things at once, so be sure you’re focused on whatever new challenge you choose.

Use All Your Senses

Smells, textures, colors and tastes can all help you remember things much better. Taking notes, speaking aloud what you want to remember, noticing the smells surrounding you and taking visual, colorful pictures can stimulate the brain in all areas.

Do Something Different

Put a variety of tasks in your brain exercises and don’t stick to things you already know. Studies show that even varying the route you take to work can enhance your work day by helping you concentrate.

Focus On the Important

When attempting to remember complex or volumes of materials, focus on the basic formula or “picture” rather than trying to remember all the details. It may be helpful to create a “mind map” which is a visual creation of a map with the main areas highlighted.

Organize Your Thoughts

You can remove the brain clutter and remember things much easier if you organize your thoughts as you would unclutter a desk or cabinet. Write down things such as thoughts, conversations and other experiences you want to remember and then go over them at some point during the day.

There are so many fun ways to keep your brain active and alert. Research all you can and find new ways to challenge yourself on a daily basis.