Independence Month is meant for exploring, taking part in new experiences and embracing the never-ending quest for better health and more knowledge about yourself and the world around you. While it is important to exercise your body, it is also vital to treat your mind with quality care. To stay sharp and keep your brain performing at its best, try incorporating a few of these habits into your daily routine.

Try something new. Learn a new skill or take on a challenge to meet a goal. Enroll in a course at a local college or start a hobby like cooking or painting. Exposing yourself to new things forces you to think outside of the box, keeping your brain alert and ready to take on new challenges faced in daily life.

Play brain games. Crossword puzzles, Sudoku and hangman are not only fun to play in your downtime, they can also improve your memory. For tablet users, websites like and also offer brain training programs to enhance your memory, focus and speed. Solving riddles, puzzles, logic problems and mind puzzles keeps your brain active and reduces stress.

Read. Becoming engrossed in a novel enhances connectivity in the brain and improves brain function. Fiction novels stimulate the imagination and non-fiction books are a great way to expand your knowledge of the world around you.

Walk outside. Skip the gym and head for the great outdoors. While exercising in itself is a great boost to your mental health, going for a walk or run outside has even more health benefits than you think. Outdoor activities help stimulate your senses and boosts endorphin levels, both welcomed refreshers for a better overall state of mind.