4 Hobbies to Exercise Your Brain

With all this free time on your hand, it might be useful to pick up a hobby or two to avoid boredom and give your brain an exercise. Here are four hobbies you can check out!

  1. 1. Learn a New Language

    a bunch of books

    Research shows that speaking more than one language has many cognitive benefits. Bilingualism is linked to higher levels of creativity, improved visual-spatial skills and contributes to better memory. The bilingual experience is associated with improved cognitive and sensory processing and allows for better attention to details. The benefits of bilingualism are especially useful for older adults as it helps prevent cognitive decline and promote cognitive reverse. The cognitive reverse is the utilization of brain networks to enhance brain function when aging.

    Obviously, learning a new language is a complicated and lengthy process. However, there are endless apps and games available to help you out. Here is a link to the 10 best language learning apps!

  2. 2. Learn Calligraphy

    When I first started bullet journaling a few years ago, I began working on my hand-lettering. It feels so intimidating in the beginning because I was consumed with the desire for perfection. Eventually, I learned that the best part about hand-lettering and calligraphy is how relaxing it is. Being able to sit down and just focus on making something beautiful with my hand feels almost therapeutic.

    I wouldn’t classify myself as a creative person, but I appreciate how calligraphy allowed me a calming, creative outlet. Perhaps the best part about this hobby is how affordable it is. If you are a beginner, there are plenty of free calligraphy worksheets you can download online and print out. There are also pre-assembled kits you can purchase for less than $20. When I first started, I remember buying an inexpensive pack of felt tip markers online. Even if you don’t become a calligrapher, this is still a chance for you to improve your penmanship.

  3. 3. Puzzles and Games

    stack of jigsaw puzzle pieces

    Your brain is a muscle. If you want to increase your brain functions, you need to exercise it. Brain plasticity refers to the new connections your brain makes when you take in information, engage in thinking or test your memory. Puzzles and games can help strengthen brain function by forcing our brains to take in new information and make connections. These games range from crossword puzzle and word games that you can access through free apps.

  4. 4. Practice Yoga

    When people think of yoga, they either feel intimidated by it, or they think it’s a waste of time. Research shows that yoga offers a host of mental benefits such as reducing stress and boosting brainpower. A short 20-minute yoga session can increase focus and information retention. New research also suggests that yoga practice can help manage bipolar disorder. So, take a few minutes out of your day and start practicing yoga!

Good luck!