It’s annoying admitting it but your teachers were right: Your brain is like a muscle and to make it smarter you just need to give it a work out. Scientists have proven that it is possible to increase your potential by exercising your mind- unfortunately endless hours of Downton Abbey or Candy Crush don’t count… Of course, Sudoku and reading the dictionary are well known ways to keep your brain up to speed – but those activities aren’t really that thrilling. If you fancy boosting your brainpower in an enjoyable way here are some recommendations
Grow something. Gardening is actually good for you. I mean, yeah you get to grow your own veggies and save yourself a trip to Mr Tesco’s but it also has some great benefits for your health and mind. This green hobby reduces your levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone and keeps your brain intact reducing the risk of dementia by 36%! Gardening has never sounded so good.
Take up Salsa. Everyone knows that exercise is good for your body and health, but it has also been proven to be good for your mind. In addition to having a physical workout, dancing reduces stress and increases cognitive activity – basically makes you smarter. There are so many benefits to this fun sport it is unreal, from making you a better leader to increasing your long-term memory. Who would have thought that breaking a sweat could be so positive? So, why not swap those office shoes for your dancing ones!
Shoot a Zombie. I know. The inner mum in me didn’t want to believe it either, but it’s true. Videogames may have a bad reputation but 30 minutes of gaming a day have been shown to improve strategic planning, spatial navigation and can develop your working memory. On top of all of that, a recent study also states that they can actually improve your hand-eye coordination. Who would have thought it?
Be the next Beethoven. Learning a musical instrument is a great fun way to get your brain ticking. Playing an instrument is proven to help with creativity, maths and analytical skill. If that isn’t good enough, to put the icing on the cake, playing a musical instrument raises IQ by seven points in both children and adults. Oh yeah, the thought of a keyboard is much more appealing now isn’t it?
Bonjour. Learning a language is a great investment of time, not only is it fab for traveling and becoming more cultured it can also slow brain aging which is always a bonus! According to research bilinguals are being at planning and task management due to better attention and task-switching capacitates in the brain. There are not many negatives of learning a new language: it will make you smarter, better at communicating and it will even make you better at speaking your first language.
So there you have it! Say goodbye to long nights of doing crosswords and chess to try and boost your knowledge. Why not take up a hobby which you can enjoy alongside helping your brain increase? You’re never too old to learn.