Your daily habit can shape your lifestyle and the type of person you are. So if you're having bad habits that bring nothing but negative things you should change it now, according to studies, here are some daily habits that will make you a smarter person.
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day—especially when it comes to your cognitive capability. According to a 2016 review of research published in Advances in Nutrition, eating breakfast was positively associated with improved performance on memory, attention, and executive function among children and adolescents. So crack a few eggs tomorrow morning and feed your brain!
Namaste your way to a sharper brain by adding some asanas to your regular routine. One 2018 study published in Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience revealed that regular yogapractitioners had more gray matter (that’s the stuff that, to put it briefly, contains neuronal your brain cells) in their hippocampus, a region of the brain associated with memory and executive function.
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The art of doing nothing can yield major improvements when it comes to your brain. According to a 2018 study published in Scientific Reports, performing mindful breathing exercises improved study subjects’ cognitive functioning on tasks that incorporated both visual attention and spatial working memory. Say it with us: In… Out…
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Even if your crossword style is more People than New York Times, doing word puzzles can help keep your mind sharp. According to a 2018 study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, among about 19,000 cognitively fit adults between the ages 50 and 93, those who regularly did word puzzles performed better on 14 measures of cognitive fitness than those who did them rarely or never.
Still enthused about your usual Sudoku puzzles? Keep at ‘em to keep your mind sharp as a tack. The results of a 2019 study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry revealed that individuals over 50 who did number puzzles at least once every day had better cognitive performance than those who didn’t.
A little daytime sleep goes a long way when it comes to your overall brain power. According to a 2018 review of research published in the journal Sleep, older adults who took daytime naps typically exhibited cognitive benefits, including improvements in memory and logical reasoning.
What feels better than a good stretch? How about knowing that you’re getting smarter when you do it? According to a 2017 study published in the Indian Journal of Basic and Applied Medical Research, stretching increased hippocampal activity and boosted levels of the “feel-good” hormone, dopamine, in adolescent study subjects.
Take a few moments to meditate each day and you might just become smarter and more calm. According to a 2011 study published in Psychiatry Research, mindfulness practice increased the density of gray matter in key parts of the brain, including the left hippocampus and cerebellum.
Your parents may have tried to curb your World of Warcrafttime in high school, but playing video games may actually make you smart in the long run. A 2017 study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking found that playing both mobile and console-based video games significantly improved individuals’ cognitive function. Game on!
Whether you’re hitting a spin class or hopping on the elliptical, a little exercise can do a world of good for your body and brain. “Research suggests that performing physical exercise approximately four hours after learning can improve the retention of associative memories and modulates the consistency of retrieval of information,” says Anthony Kouri, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Toledo Medical Center. “Physiologically, exercise improves neural plasticity by triggering the release of chemical factors such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic function), in the brain. This is especially helpful in the later stages of memory consolidation, which is why it is best to wait a few hours to work out.”
Even if your literature preferences sway more Stephenie Meyer than Leo Tolstoy, reading for pleasure can positively enhance your cognitive ability. According to a 2016 study published in The Journal of Multidisciplinary Graduate Research, students who read for pleasure had increased test performance across a variety of academic subjects.
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Looking to sharpen your brain? Try spending more time with the people you love. A 2018 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health reveals that, among elderly subjects, those who participated in regular social activities also exhibited higher cognitive functioning.
Your preferred gym playlist may get you pumped up for a grueling sweat session, but if you want to get your brain equally energized, try adding some Beethoven or Bach to your rotation. According to a 2015 study published in Conscious Cognition, elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment had increased brain activity in areas related to problem solving, cognition, and memory after listening to classical music, like Mozart’s K448.
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