The clock starts. The adrenaline hits you and the urge to move fast is consuming. You mentally push back and find the calm you need to pace yourself. There are others nearby and their adrenaline spike threatens to take back the calm you just fought for. When things start to move, you find a rhythm. The small wins you achieve as you go fuel the fire to keep moving at a steady pace. The clock is starting to near your time limit, can you make it? You have trained your body but did you train your mind to finish this race? To make or beat your PR?

Mind over matter, “the use of willpower to overcome physical problems.” Sound familiar? How many races or obstacles have you overcome with your mind? Probably a lot more than you give yourself credit for. The parts of the brain peopole use to run a race—the parts that can push them to that new place where the brain grows—is the same part that will guide you through activities that will provide enough mental stimulation to keep your mind young. We often always think about staying young by exercising the body but the brain needs help, too. Lucky for you…there are things you can do to help that think tank of yours.


According to Harvard Health Publishing, there are several practices that can be implemented to keep your brain young. Lucky for you, dear runner, getting physical exercise is number two on that list!

The number one item to help the brain is mental stimulation, “Any mentally stimulating activity should help you build up your brain. Read, take courses, try ‘mental gymnastics,’ such as word puzzles or math problems.” The very last item listed? Build social networks, “Strong social ties have been associated with a lower risk of dementia, as well as lower blood pressure and longer life expectancy.” That means mental stimulation and time spent with those in your circle are not only fun but are also good for your brain health!

If that was not enough to convince you to add some puzzles into your life, let me toss this one at you. According to Reader’s Digest, when your brain engages with challenging puzzles, it can activate new parts of your brain to help you problem-solve. Trying to solve a problem at work? Need a little help with some strategic thinking? Work in some extra puzzles at varying levels and watch new ideas or thoughts come your way. Adding puzzles for mental stimulation keeps your brain healthy, young, and exercises parts that will help you push your cognitive boundaries.


Now, you can probably think of several brain puzzles to get you started but I want to introduce, or reintroduce, you to my favorite one…escape rooms. Have you heard of them? It’s a mentally stimulating, enjoyable experience that you can do with friends, family, and co-workers. Sixty minutes—that is all the time you get to solve the puzzles to get out of the room. That’s not all. If you get out?—Bragging rights come your way. Remove the physical readiness part and the intro paragraph of this article could be about an escape room. 

Hey, adrenaline junkie—yeah you—interested yet?

Escape Lincoln, or more affectionately referred to as EL in our world. EL is a unique escape room experience located in the Lincoln Historic Haymarket. With four rooms to choose from (yes, we rotate in new rooms!), you may find yourself having a hard time selecting a room. This fall we are offering a haunted escape for those thrill-seeking fans that need a little something extra with their puzzles.

Mind over matter, a motto we promo at EL. When you think you can’t figure it out, remind yourself that you can do anything you put your mind to! But you already knew that…you run half marathons!

If you feel like a new kind of challenge, come visit us down in the Haymarket.

-The Ladies of Escape Lincoln