Playing chess can be a good way to pass the time but it can also help improve your mental health. Here are three ways that chess can benefit your brain according to Health Fitness Revolution.

The brain is like a muscle that must be exercised in order to keep it running properly. A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that people over the age of 75 who play games like chess are less likely to develop dementia than their peers who don’t.

Playing chess stimulates the growth of dendrites in the brain. Dendrites carry out signals to other neurons in the brain. More dendrites mean better communication between neurons which means your brain become faster.

A study conducted on 4,000 students showed that playing chess can raise your IQ. The students, boys and girls, were given 4 months of chess instruction. Their IQ scores were significantly better after that time period.