September articleSábado, 1 de Setiembre de 2018
"Will taking up any of these hobbies make you smarter?", by our teacher Emma Hearle.
It's commonly believed that once you're an adult, there isn't much you can do to become more intelligent. Sure you can read up on politics or history but what if there was scientifically based research to prove that certain hobbies or activities, you may be even be thinking of taking up, also had an influence on human intelligence…
According to scientific research, the more you use your brain, introducing it to new stimuli, the stronger it gets - not that different to pumping iron in the gym to get bigger muscles. When you challenge your brain, your gray matter increases, raising your IQ.
The following list of hobbies is just a sampling of what’s out there to stimulate your brain and make you that bit smarter.
Swap prime time for game time
You may have heard from your grandparents that playing chess or having a Scrabble battle would make you more intelligent. They were absolutely right. Crossword puzzles and other stimulating games develop your neuroplasticity, refining your brainpower.
Think of your brain as you think of your body; you have to keep it active and fine-tuned in order for it to perform at its best potential. So ditch the Netflix binges and dive into the Sudoku, Monopoly, and even visual puzzles. They’ll keep you entertained, and even make you feel smarter the better you get.
Learn to play a musical instrument
Have you ever noticed that musicians have a unique, inexplicable aura of intelligence surrounding them? Whether you choose the violin or saxophone, something interesting will happen to your brain when you play a musical instrument. You’ll boost your motor skills, linguistic capabilities, and creativity, but there’s something even more impressive awaiting you.
By playing any musical instrument, you will create new connections between both sides of the brain, strengthening the corpus callosum. No matter if you’re five or 55 years old, improving your corpus callosum is known to aid in problem-solving skills, decision making, and enriching your memory.
Experiment in the kitchen
Many of us feel that cooking is a waste of time and we’d rather grab a sandwich on the go than spend time slaving over a hot stove.
But instead of complaining when your partner or parents ask you to see to the dinner this evening, you should feel happy you have the opportunity to cook. Regular cooks, particularly the ones who try out a variety of meals, have high levels of creativity. They are committed to quality, aren’t afraid to try things out and they pay great attention to details.
Whenever you cook something, you are learning to multitask, measure with precision and make quick decisions. With all of these skills you’re acquiring, you’re becoming smarter too.
Take up gardening
You don’t need to have much of a green thumb to enjoy the mental benefits of gardening. Gardening can be regarded as a type of meditation, which reduces the stress hormone, cortisol, within the body. Being around plants, in the sunshine, increases your exposure to oxygen and Vitamin D, helping the brain perform its functions with ease.
Workout more often
A healthy body helps to ensure that you have a healthy brain. After all, your brain is like any other muscle in your body. Exercising regularly keeps your brain and body functioning as they are supposed to, reducing tension and helping you sleep better.
Doctors agree that better blood circulation to the brain means increased brain function. Various studies on mice and humans have shown that cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells, and thus improve overall brain performance.
So whatever free time you have this weekend or even during your time off work or school, why not try something new and fun and see if it also helps make you a more intelligent person - what are you waiting for?!
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