Krista Jensen
May 17, 2014 11:01 am

The weather’s getting warmer, Spring semester is either done or nearly done; it’s time to get our most valuable assets in shape because it’s …brainkini season! That’s right, your belly might be hard as a rock and that’s all fine and good, but how’s your brain? Signed off until work hits its busy season this Fall? Out of shape after bingeing on study sheets and flash cards? While you’re enjoying your time off this Summer, don’t forget to occasionally flex those brain muscles. They’ll thank you, even if it’s just with the ability to yell answers at your TV during Jeopardy. Here are a few ideas.

1. Khan Academy

So you want to school your boyfriend in World History, huh? Or how about reading up on some basic Cosmology or Astronomy? Maybe you wanna brush up on Fourth Grade Math since the kid you babysit will surely need help with homework come September. Khan Academy is like a factual Wikipedia broken down into super concise textbook style reading. If you’re like me, you know you learned this stuff, but dammit if we don’t come up short when determining where the 50 states are located on a map of our own country. Thank goodness for the non-judgmental people who run Khan Academy.

2. Lumosity

You’ve seen the commercials (is that Edward Norton doing VO? I seriously don’t know and now I run into the room like an animal hearing keys and a leash every time this ad comes on) that claim Lumosity is like a gym for your brain. But here’s the thing: Lumosity is fun. If you’re an app-game fanatic, you doubly need Lumosity. Feels like FlappyBird, but this stuff is mind-stimulating rather than mind-numbing.

3. Duolingo

I rely on my high school-level Spanish education a lot. Simple terms get me pretty far in moments of need, but more is always better when it comes to vocab. Sign into Duolingo and learn a number of languages, totally free. It’s mindless fun and great for those with office jobs with a lot of desk-bound waiting around (i.e., long download times or sales calls). An hour spent clicking through here feels like loose, lazy fun. Then suddenly, you find yourself able to translate the entire menu at your local Mexican restaurant. Qué bueno!

4. MathPlayground

MathPlayground is a haven for logic games. These particular games are so cute you’ll find yourself going “awwww” every time you advance to the next level. Complete with music, beautiful graphics and a land of characters, MathPlayground’s games could make the people at Pixar coo with cutesy joy. Try the Tim Burton-esque Blob’s Story right now.

5. Speed Rounds at Sporcle

Sporcle has been around for a while, and while it’s interface could use some updating, its collection of speedy lightning rounds are so much fun. When I would find myself dozing off at my work desk, even after two coffees, I’d know that the situation was dire. That’s where speed rounds of typing the alphabet with accuracy came in handy. Take a minute to compete with yourself for a new fastest timestamp and you’ll be focused and alert in an instant.

So there you go! Brainkini season means flaunting your sexy brainpower for all to see, and nothing feels better than being in great, great brain-shape. Time to break a mental sweat!

(Photo via Hamptons Magazine)

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