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5 Easy Ways to Keep Your Brain Active and Young After 60

Did you exercise your brain today? Most of us don’t even know what that means. We seem to overlook the importance of the brain and solely focus on the body when we think about being healthy.

Our efforts are on diet, sleep, and exercise. Perhaps some people also consider emotional balance as a way to mitigate stress. The majority of us, however, think that this marks up our roadmap to overall good health. But what about the brain?

The brain is no longer a mystery. Research clearly tells us that we have to exercise it to keep it healthy. But exercising it does not even cross the minds of the vast majority of us.

And what does exercising the brain really look like? Should it do sit-ups and yoga, along with strength and resistance training? The answer is, yes, absolutely. But you don’t have to join a gym and get a pair of athletic shoes.

Exercising the brain involves stretching it to improve its flexibility, its strength, and its ability to regenerate lost cells. This exercise is so very easy, and something we can all do.

Here are 5 easy ways to exercise your brain:

Do Problem-Solving Puzzles

Get a Sudoku or Crossword puzzle book and pick at it each day. You can even download free apps for these puzzles, so there is no excuse that they aren’t available.

Start with ones that you can easily complete. Then slowly work towards the medium and hard ones. Don’t be too eager to stump yourself, as this may turn you off doing it each day.

Problem-solving stretches the brain, but like the body, you don’t want to pull a muscle. There are so many of these puzzles/apps that if you don’t like Sudoku or Crosswords, you can pick another. Even solitaire is a good option.

Do Some Things a Bit Differently to Break Brain Patterns

Breaking brain patterns means the brain doesn’t get into a rut. Like with the rest of your body, if you don’t use a muscle, it won’t maintain itself. The easiest way to do this is to use your opposite hand for easy things such as opening doors, moving a cup, using the TV converter.

This creates new patterns that stretch and build the brain. You can even take a different route to your usual destinations, wash your face after you brush your teeth at bedtime, and consider getting up on the wrong side of the bed.

Memorize Something Simple

Open any book, newspaper, magazine, or even something online, and pick a sentence at random. Make sure it’s less than 20 words. Read it a few times, and then say it 8 to 10 times out loud. Then repeat it in 20 minutes.

If you’ve forgotten, no worries. Repeat the memory process of reading it and saying it out loud. Then again, repeat it in 20 minutes, and every few hours through the day.

Some days you could use your grocery order, a list of your favourite singers, or your top 10 movie titles. Mix it up. As you get better, increase the word count. Have fun with it as you stretch your brain.

Do Something Creative

Draw a picture, arrange some flowers, or reorganize your closet. Creativity is good for the brain as it reduces stress and improves problem solving.

Try to do something creative every day. There are so many choices, including gardening, all sorts of crafting, sewing as well as knitting and crocheting.

Even if you don’t have any skills with a craft, you could still pick up a pencil and draw a cat, a dog, or even your coffee mug. It isn’t about how creative you are, it’s only about being creative.

Try Something New

Doing something you haven’t done before is a perfect way to stretch and build your brain. Try a new hobby, visit a new place, taste a new food, take a course, or start to learn a new language. These are great examples of things you can do to boost your brain capacity.

Remember, you don’t have to be good at it, the idea is to introduce new patterns and processes into your brain. And trying something new is fun and exciting. Who knew you could bake such great cookies?

It’s Really Simple

Do you feel like your brain is rusty or full of cobwebs? You can do something about this so easily. Try to do a few of the above each day. Within a few weeks you’ll feel the difference.

You can even do brain exercises online with sites like and They both provide some free puzzles, but they do want you to join up to access their full services.

For overall good health, make good choices with your diet, include physical activity in your daily route, and don’t forget to exercise your brain.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

How often do you exercise your brain? What do you do to stimulate it? Have you noticed a difference? In what ways? If you haven’t already, would you be willing to start exercising your brain today? Please share your thoughts and experience with our community.

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Great list! I’ve been trying a trick to remember a list of words. I create a story with those words, and try and visualize it as I create the story. For example, if I woke up in the middle of the night and thought of a list for the next day: call dentist, buy berries, clean garage, and return package. I would then visualize my dentist eating berries in my garage on top of my package. It works! Lol


What a fun, upbeat message. I can’t wait to get started on some of these. Thanks for the reminder that we need to keep our brains fit. My husband and I travel, and we always learn things along the way.


I liked how you said , “try something new – you don’t have to be good at it”. At 76 I am taking piano lessons and have been for some time. I’ve often thought of quitting because I am not progressing as I would like. I most likely will always be an adult beginner. It can be discouraging not to be able to do things as good as you imagine yourself doing.


I like the way you make these suggestions sound doable and attainable without stressing us out. Picking a few rather than diving in head first makes sense. I’m already on board with exercise including yoga and strength training, read a lot but don’t do much in the way of creative activities or puzzles so this will give me some motivation to tackle something new. Thank you!

Lynne Stevens

At an age I’d prefer not to acknowledge, I still take an online university class every semester. I’ll probably be classified as a senior (academically as well as in reality) for the rest of my life, or maybe I’ll actually finish the degree I should eventually get (if I don’t quit switching majors). I used to take classes on campus until those darned kids kept getting younger every year (and also, STAY OFF MY LAWN! 😁)

The Author

About Perley-Ann Friedman, The Happy Cat. I now live on Koh Lanta, a small island in southern Thailand. I am enjoying my alternative lifestyle as I ease into retirement. I’m in my 60s, healthy, active, have red hair and totally love cats. I’ve consciously chosen to be positive and to continuously grow as I journey through life. Visit me at

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