Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Better Brainpower

Recent research has shown that you can actually improve your I.Q by up to 20 points over four years. How can you do it? Here’s 12 easy ways to get started!

1. Play Words With Friends: Studies have shown that playing word puzzles can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

2. Get Some Exercise: In one study, the thinking ability of subjects was tested and re-tested after running on a treadmill for thirty minutes. The follow-up tests showed an increase in the speed of decision making and an increase in the accuracy of the responses.

3. Learn A New Language: Mastering a second language gives your prefrontal cortex a workout. This can affect decision making and emotions.

4. Join A Knitting Circle: Grab those needles and get to work on a scarf for Grandma. Refining your motor skills can help improve cognitive ability.

5. Play Violent Videogames: Numerous studies have found that videogames can quicken reaction time, improve multitasking, and reduce hostile feelings after performing a stressful task.

6. Hydrate: There are a host of different reasons that you should drink more water and now add another one. Dehydration can force your brain to work harder and can reduce its planning ability.

7. Become An Expert: Master a task you really enjoy doing and your brain will perform more efficiently when you do it. This can then translate to your brains ability to do other tasks more efficiently as well.

8. Drink Coffee: Women who drank four cups of coffee a day were less likely to suffer from depression than women that drank just one cup a week. Other studies have shown that coffee can also bolster short term memory.

9. Zone Out: A group of studies suggest that “zoning out”. especially when you don’t realize you’re doing it, allows the brain to work on “big picture” thinking.

10. Time Yourself: Using a timer to limit your work to 25 minute “batches” followed by a short break helps to improve mental agility, making you more productive while you work.

11. Eat Some Yogurt: Pro-biotics can help your digestion and some studies on mice suggest that they are good for your brain too. The mice who ate them handled anxiety better and showed increased activity in sections of the brain handling emotions and memory.

12. Check Out the Denver Art Museum: Visiting a museum and viewing art has been shown to reduce stress, letting you focus more clearly on the things that really matter.

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