Enhancing Your Cognitive Ability: Exercises That Boost Your IQ
Have you ever taken an IQ test? If not, you probably should take a little more interest in your IQ level. According to Ken Richarpeople’s and Sarah H. Norgate’s research, people with higher IQ tend to be more successful at work.
Although IQ is not the only factor that defines your exceptional job performance, it’s still one of the most important things employers look at. After all, the higher one’s IQ is, the better the reasoning and problem-solving skills they have. What employer wouldn’t want that?
Less than 1% of people get to be called “very gifted”, meaning they scored 140 points or more on an IQ test. Around 51% of people on the planet have average intelligence (90-110). The good thing is, anybody’s brain can be trained.
So, here are 5 effective exercises you can do to boost your cognitive abilities:
1. Learn both poetry and prose
Nowadays rote learning is perceived as an antonym to so-called “meaningful learning”. But don’t be fooled: simple old-fashioned memorization can truly boost your brain function. According to career educator Ben Jonson, a brain is a learning tool, and it requires active effort to push things into short-term memory.
It takes even more work to memorize information long-term. Irish research showed that learning by repetition improves neuronal plasticity in the brain since it activates memory structures in the hippocampal foundation.
2. Take Up Basic Neurobics
Neurobics includes a great deal of non-routine exercises that can keep your brain fit. Most exercises require breaking a pattern and doing common things the hard way, helping you build new neural pathways. They can be as simple as shopping at a new store, changing your usual way of working or taking a shower with your eyes closed.
What does it have to do with anything? According to the co-creator of this term Lawrence Katz, Ph.D., neurotics can prepare our brain for meeting various challenges whether it’s memorizing someone’s name, fulfilling creative tasks at work or mastering a new computer program.
3. Start Meditating
It’s hard to believe that being so still can actually improve your brain activity. However, a 2010 study by a group of American neurobiologists and psychologists says that meditating for just 20 minutes a day can improve your fluid intelligence. Fluid intelligence stands for the ability to solve problems and find new logical ways to deal with day-to-day situations. To get better at those, you have to meditate regularly.
4. Learn To Play A Musical Instrument
Music can stimulate your brain function in a unique way because you develop an emotional connection with it, says a neuropsychologist at the University of Westminster, Catherine Loveday. While playing a musical instrument, a person engages multiple senses (like vision, hearing and touch) to perceive information.
That’s why learning to play a musical instrument increases grey matter volume in different regions of the brain. Studies by German neurologists have shown that regular and intensive music training can even impact brain structure, enlarging certain parts.
Learn how to boost your brainpower with music in the Lufian Magazine Issue No.6.
5. Carry On With A Life-Long Education
It’s highly recommended for young adults to stay at school as long as possible. Studies have shown that each year of school gives you on average 3,5 additional IQ points. However, even if you’re out of college, it doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. Take up informal education: take a professional course once in a while, read books or watch shows related to your field and choose a mentally challenging career.
There are hundreds of various IQ tests on the Internet. However, most of them are only there to obtain web traffic, says neuroscientist Dean Burnett. Do not waste your time on unsupervised online tests with automatic scoring. If you want to check your IQ and get decent results, try tests accepted by Mensa. Mensa is the world’s oldest and largest high IQ society that’s only open to individuals who get over 98 points on their IQ tests.