Speech-language pathologist Claire Herring urges people to think of the brain as a muscle. A 2011 MIT study suggested that the typical brain can respond to challenges by reorganizing itself and developing new capabilities—not unlike what happens when you work to build muscle at the gym.

Herring is the creator of Daisy Brains, cognitive games created to boost women’s memory, as well as problem-solving and creative-thinking skills. “Cognitive abilities, such as reasoning, memory, attention and sensory processing, can be improved with brain training and healthy habits,” Herring explains. “This can lead to more accurate recall, quicker processing and easier learning.”

There are many different ways that people can exercise their brains, Herring says. For example, solve the following problem that tests your ability to use deductive reasoning: It is night, and the electricity has gone out. You have a candle, a gasoline lamp and a wood-burning stove. You have only a single match. What do you light first? (Answer: The match.)

The way this challenge works is that as you puzzle out the solution to the problem, your brain gets a regenerative workout. “The brain has the ability to continue to develop through all stages of life,” Herring says. That’s why it’s important we challenge it with lots of different kinds of workouts each and every day. The good thing is, you’ll never have to break a sweat.