Everyone knows it’s important to exercise your body regularly in order to combat physical disease and aging. But did you know that your brain also needs to be mentally exercised to combat brain-related disease and aging? Here are three brain-stimulating tips to keep your mind sharp and healthy:

1. Learn a New Skill

Picking up a new hobby this summer will do more than just keep boredom at bay! As it turns out, acquiring a new skill can help improve your performance on various other tasks and increase your learning speed. It can also help fight brain-damaging diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. So whether it’s sewing a quilt, surfing near Newport, or studying a foreign language, learning a new skill will exercise your brain and keep it in shape.

2. Play or Listen to Music

Did you know that playing an instrument can help your brain in a number of different ways? To name a few, it can improve memory, increase problem-solving abilities, and even change your brain anatomy for the better. For our friends who can’t pick out notes, let alone play an instrument, take heart: Even just listening to upbeat music can improve brainpower and creativity! And there you have it—a form of “exercise” that everyone will enjoy!

3. Take Time to Meditate 

Of course, we know that meditation can calm you. But, did you know that it also stimulates brain activity? In fact, one study linked the practice of meditation to increased brain size. It makes sense; your brain is like a muscle, and meditation is a mental exercise.

It doesn’t take much to experience the benefits of meditation, either. According to Headspace, “a regular practice associated with benefits involves 10-20 minutes of meditation at least 3 times a week.” The key here is to do it regularly.

This summer, while you’re exercising your body, don’t forget to also exercise your brain! By learning a new skill, playing or listening to music, and taking time to meditate, you’ll be stimulating and strengthening your brain. These sound like some of the most enjoyable forms of exercise we’ve ever heard of!