Making your friends hand over their resources to you in Settlers in Catan or revealing yourself to be a Cylon in Battlestar Galactica isn’t just satisfying on a personal level. It seems that this can help your brain as you age.

According to the New York Times, Paul Nussbaum, president of the Brain Health Center in Pittsburgh, said that “board games that are played with others” helps keep your brains resilient, that is, more easily able to learn and solve problems.

We all want our brains to stay sharp as when we were young and able to absorb facts like “Director David Cronenberg played a gynecologist in his movie The Fly.” However, aging shrinks the brain, turning it from a tasty zombie treat into something zombies feed their dogs.

The New York Times writes, “The brain thrives on continuous stimulation.” And a range of board games require players to learn new rules and new play styles—a whetstone to sharpen the brain. Social activity and interaction is also critical to keeping the brain plastic and adaptable, and board games are inherently social.

Other activities to give your brains a boost include learning a playing a new musical instrument. Don’t forget exercise and a healthy diet in your anti-aging plan.

Although nothing will prevent dementia in those who have lost the genetic lottery, board games and other stimulating activities “may help slow memory loss and other normal symptoms of aging,” the Times writes.

And that’s absolutely the excuse you’ll give your friends when you beat them in your next board game session.

Featured Image Credit: Kritrim Vault.