• Posted on January 2, 2017 in Travel

    3 Games You Can Play On The Bus To Train Your Brain

    A person holding on to their Herschel bag and cell phone

    Today is National Train Your Brain Day. In honor of this obscure-but-nonetheless-relevant celebration, we put together some old-school games and apps that can give you a little extra boost when, you know, you’re on a bus trip or something.

    1.     Tetris: Tetris–if you can believe it–is 32 years old. Not only has it stood the test of time, it also has an “effect” named after it. According to a 2011 Boston Globe piece, “The main piece of evidence is a 2009 study showing that just 30 minutes of Tetris a day can ‘thicken’ your gray matter by forging tighter connections between your neurons.” The theory is that tighter connections in your neurons can help you solve even more problems beyond just Tetris (although solving Tetris puzzles faster is a lofty goal in and of itself). A different study cited in the article even suggested Tetris might be able to diminish flashbacks associated with PTST.

    Just beware: Time management skills may suffer.

    2.    Words with Friends:  While pinpointing the exact number of downloads is tough, it’s safe to declare Words with Friends to be in the tens of millions of across devices and platforms… and for good reason. At least one study has shown that–depending how dedicated you are–Words with Friends (or its real-life counterpart, Scrabble) can train your brain to more quickly spot words from your random assortment of letters.

    One of the most important things to consider, according to USA Today, is it’s at least more stimulating than watching Jersey Shore.

    3.    Chess: Depending on your word choice, this is either a full-brainer or a no-brainer (sorry, we had to). Chess, which people guess has been around since at least the 6th century, has a host of brain-training benefits. According to the Johns Hopkins School of Education, getting kids playing chess at early ages (right around the second or third grade) could be correlated to better academic achievement. This plays into the whole “correlation does not equal causation” adage, but still…

    Similarly, Mic and Wired say that chess can shrink your brain. Don’t worry, it’s a good thing and can be a sign of neural efficiency.

    For the full list of benefits chess can provide (there are many), we recommend heading over to mic.com.


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