Exercising Your Brain with Trivia

It’s a well-known fact that, as we age, our brains don’t work in quite the same way that they did when we were younger. We begin to lose memories, we may find it difficult to concentrate, and it can take longer to learn new skills and absorb information. One of the best ways to keep our minds sharp is to exercise them on a daily basis. When you begin to develop your brain fitness routine, be sure to include trivia to the regime. Here’s why:

1.Improved Cognition

Cognition, or thinking, can be improved with training. If you hope to learn a new skill, retain new information or practice a new craft, you need to be able to think, reason and problem solve. By playing trivia games, or utilizing a trivia app, you can improve your cognition without realizing you’re doing so. The better you get at trivia games, the easier you will find it to learn new things, concentrate on tasks and perform previously unlearned skills.

2.Fluid Intelligence

Our brains are amazing pieces of machinery. Experts call the reasoning that takes place behind our learning processes “fluid intelligence.” If you find trivia games to be confusing, difficult or even boring at first, do your best to stick with them. The more you answer trivia questions and play trivia games, the easier and more enjoyable you will find them to be. As your play becomes more frequent, your brain will adjust to its new task and adapt readily.


Do you have a stressful job? Is your life just stressful in general? When you live in a persistent state of stress, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol. The more cortisol that courses through your body, the less able you will be to concentrate, learn and even think clearly. When you play trivia games, you can effectively lessen the amount of cortisol being released by your body. The lessening of cortisol will result in an increased ability to focus and to just plain think.


While you have dozens of choices when it comes to trivia games, the most beneficial are those that cover a variety of subjects. When you find a trivia game that forces you to recall knowledge about sports, music, history, entertainment, culture and other topics, you will have to rely on skill, memory, logic and even language in order to answer the questions. This type of game play is called mental cross-training and is so beneficial that it is often used to treat those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries.

5.Emotion Regulation

You may not believe it, but the act of answering trivia questions and playing games can make you a happier person. Friendly competition can heighten your mood, boost your ego and make you more jovial in general. If you win the game, you’ll experience a feeling of satisfaction that can increase the release of feel-good hormones in your brain. This is a great reason to sit down with the whole family on a Friday night and pull out your trivia games.

There are some people who love trivia games and some that have to learn to love them. No matter which camp you fall into, there’s no denying that trivia games benefit your brain. The next time you’re looking for something to do, find a partner and bounce some trivia questions off of each other; your brain will appreciate the workout.

Betty Buchannan is an author and a member of several trivia clubs. To find trivia questions for your next meeting or a fun family game night, go to this page and explore all the different categories.

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