Just like any muscle in your body, your brain gets stronger when you exercise it regularly. If becoming smarter is your goal for 2017, here are 7 hobbies you can try to achieve it.

Guitar Playing

Playing the guitar gives your brain a full workout as several mental processes go on at once. In fact, a study done by Cambridge University showed that musicians visualize music in terms of its shape, and then process that as a form of practice.

There are lots of online tutorials and mobile apps to help you learn how to play. Once you learn a few basic chords, you’ll be eager to master your first song.

Solving Puzzles

It’s almost impossible to not love puzzles. They are excellent brain teasers that stimulate your mind and make you think.

If you are a busy person with very little spare time, you can solve puzzles even when you’re on the plane or train. It will help you become smarter without having to spend a lot of time or money.

Learning Spanish

Do you have a passion for countries, languages, and cultures? If you do, then learning Spanish will be a good hobby to improve your intellect. Learning a new language will not only expand your linguistic skills, but also give you a better insight of the culture and traditions of the Spanish people.

The trick to learning a new language is to practice it often and converse with other Spanish speakers. It is recommended to learn a new language as early as possible, so now is the best time to start.

Knitting

Knitting keeps your mind sharp as it requires you to follow instructions, use patterns, and perform several other several cognitive tasks. Anyone can be a knitter, but it is especially helpful for seniors who want to keep their brains sharp.

Lock Picking

Lock picking is a cool hobby that will train your mind to think even in the toughest situations. It will mentally challenge you and give you a sense of euphoria once you hear the click.

This hobby is for anyone, including older individuals or people that have physical limitations. You just need the right lock picking tools and you’re good to go. If you do not know how to lock pick, you can find a lot of online videos to show you how it is done.

Taking up Yoga

Yoga has a lot of benefits, from stress relief to improving mental and physical strength. It improves your flexibility and posture as well. Researchers also found that participants who joined a session of yoga exercise had better cognitive performance compared to those who engaged in aerobic sessions or those who did not exercise at all.

Star Gazing

Star gazing is a fun hobby that will refresh your senses and increase your knowledge on heavenly bodies. Most people who do this don’t just stop there; they eventually learn about the universe in great detail.

Before you begin this hobby, you can head to your local library and read about astronomy and space. You can also find a lot of information online. If you can, go to a planetarium and get familiar with constellations and the solar system.

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