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Top 5 ways to stay mentally sharp this summer

Over the summer the average college student is probably working, hanging out with friends and, let’s face it, drinking a lot. There are a few people who take summer classes, but if not, your brain might just lapse into a dazed, vegetable-like state. Here are some useful tips on how to stay on top of your mental game.

Read a good book

It’s always smart to stay up-to-date on the latest reading, but sadly, flipping through the latest tabloid doesn’t fall into that category. Head to Barnes & Noble to check out the new paperback releases, read one of the classics that teachers are so fond of or crack open an old favorite like “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” This will refresh your vocabulary, keep your reading speed up and give you something to do while you’re relaxing on a sunny beach.

Summer readingWrite something

Have you ever had to jot something down halfway through the summer, only to find that you’ve kind of forgotten how to write? It’s a feeling many of us are well acquainted with. In order to avoid this off-putting moment, make sure you document some things the old-fashioned way – by hand. Write a poem, a song or a short story. For those of you studying abroad over the summer or traveling for an internship, keep a journal. It will be good exercise for your brain and when your summer is over, you’ll have your memories to keep forever.

Visit a museum

When you’re dying of heat in your tiny apartment because you can’t afford air conditioning, exploring a chilly museum for a few hours doesn’t sound half bad. There are plenty of museums in Chicago with exhibits that are sure to peak anyone’s interest. Places like The Museum of Science and Industry, The Art Institute of Chicago and The Chicago History Museum often display new exhibitions over the summer, so check online to see what interesting history is coming to your area.

Play a game

Games are a great way to keep your brain running, because you don’t even realize you’re getting the mental workout. For all you purists out there, Sudokus and crossword puzzles are a fun way to get a daily dose of brain function, and they’re delivered right to your door. Lumosity is another thing to try. It’s an online brain training website with multiple categories for each brain function. There are also numerous apps for your noggin that you can take on the go, like 2048, a surprisingly addictive math game.

Exercise

As your brain is the control center for your body, it only makes sense that working out will increase your brain health. When the weather is nice, go for a jog with a friend, and when it gets too hot for that, do some laps at your local swimming pool. Get out in the fresh air and do some lunges or ride your bike. Really, any physical movement will do. Regular exercise will increase your overall health and happiness, putting your brain and body in tip-top condition.

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