Mathematics has long been recognized for it's mentalbenefits.Working with numbers improves your concentration, memory,focus, problem solving skills, and general clarity ofthought.To enjoy these benefi...

Mathematics has long been recognized for it's mental benefits.

Working with numbers improves your concentration, memory, focus, problem solving skills, and general clarity of thought.

To enjoy these benefits, you don't have to indulge in any complicated formulas. All you need is a few minutes daily practice playing some simple math games.

And before you rush out to buy the latest Xbox console and software, realize that numbers are all around you...

Look at the clock on your computer. Usually it's located in the lower right-hand corner of your screen (or use any clock to tell the time).

The 24-hour format works best. On my computer right now, the time is 15:38.

There are all kinds of creative games you can play with this. Here are ten to get you started:

#1 Add the single digits together from left to right:

1 + 5 + 3 + 8 = (say "6... 9... 17")

#2 Add the single digits together from right to left:

8 + 3 + 5 + 1 = (say "11... 16.. 17")

#3 Add the inner and outer digits together, then add the resulting pairs together:

1 + 8 = 9 5 + 3 = 8 and so 9 + 8 = 17

#4 Add the single digits on either side of the colon, and multiply the results:

1 + 5 = 6 and 3 + 8 = 11 6 x 11 = 66

#5 Subtract the single digits on either side of the colon, and multiply the results:

1 from 5 = 4 3 from 8 = 5 4 x 5 = 20

#6 Multiply the single digits on either side of the colon, and multiply the results:

1 x 5 = 5 and 3 x 8 = 24 5 x 24 = 120

#7 Add the two-digit numbers either side of the colon:

Add 15 to 38 to get 53

#8 Subtract the two-digit numbers either side of the colon:

Subtract 15 from 38 to get 23

#9 Divide the two-digit numbers either side of the colon:

Divide 15 into 38 to get 2 remainder 8

#10 Feeling brave? Multiply the two-digit numbers either side of the colon:

Multiply 15 by 38 to get... 570

You can repeat the above exercises as many times a day as you like.

Try them anytime you have a spare minute, like when you're placed on hold in a telephone queue.

You may not turn into a mathematical genius, but you'll certainly keep your brain in gear!

Murdo Macleod is co-author of the popular "Fun With Figures" mental math course, which shows anyone aged between 8 and 80 the easy way to do impressive mental calculations. Visit the website today for more details at: http://www.FunWithFigures.com