Challenge yourself

Just as physical activity improves your body's ability to function, studies show that keeping your brain active can help reduce your risk of dementia.

By approaching daily routines in new ways, you engage new or rarely-used mental pathways.  

Challenging your mind doesn't have to be difficult. It can be as simple as dialling a phone number with your less dominant hand or as complex as learning a new language. Remember, the goal is to give your brain a new experience and a workout every day.

Activities to stimulate your brain

  • Play chess, word and number puzzles, jigsaws, crosswords and memory games.
  • Pursue a new interest like learning to play a musical instrument, taking a course or going to the theatre.
  • Break your routine – take a different route to the store or change the order of your morning routine.
  • Involve one or more of your senses in a novel way – write your name with your opposite hand.
  • Read a book or go see a movie – discuss it with a friend.
  • Pursue cultural activities like going to plays, museums, concerts and galleries.
  • Keep up hobbies such as sewing, carpentry or take up a new hobby.
  • Cross train your brain – try a variety of challenges.
  • For more great ways to take action on brain health, visit our BrainBooster® activity pages.
Phyllis Fehr

I decided to be proactive about my health after my diagnosis. I took up archery because it requires a lot of focus and concentration. It helps with hand-eye coordination and keeps my mind sharp.
- Phyllis Fehr, living with Alzheimer's

Note: Your abilities, health and interests should be taken into consideration when choosing brain healthy activities. If you have questions about your own situation, speak to your doctor or health care provider.

Last Updated: 08/24/2018