Participating in sports is essential to boosting one's success at work and in school by enhancing their ability to concentrate. Studies reveal that people who engage in sports have an exceptional ability to filter out the noise and maintain focus than those who are less athletic. It is evident during games where large audiences are cheering or booing, yet many sports players can still focus on the game and hear their coach giving instructions. The following are sports that will make your brain sharper and smarter.
Tennis is among the most famous sports and is of two kinds; lawn tennis, played outside on a court, and table tennis, an indoor game. For both matches, players must learn how to measure action fast and effectively. They are very engaging sports that involve fast mental calculations, hand-eye coordination, concentration, and movement, especially in lawn tennis.
Tennis games make players sharper due to their ability to spot their opponent's weaknesses and adjust their gameplay accordingly. In addition, tennis forces your brain to grow due to the pressure put on it and, in turn, creates new neural connections that make you smarter.
Many individuals mainly pursue dancing for fun or fitness. Dancing improves balance, flexibility, and energy levels that are beneficial to your health. However, it also plays a part in sharpening the brain by improving your memory. When dancing, you have to master complicated routines and dance moves while stalling your body perfectly to the music. It is a demanding sport that gives your brain a good workout while improving concentration.
Swimming is a fun activity that works out your body while improving your cardiovascular health. As a sport, it also sharpens your brain while making you smarter. There are different swimming styles that you have to master to be good at it or participate as a professional swimmer. Also, although it’s not noticeable, swimming demands a lot of brain concentration, whether you’re competing or doing it for fun. Your brain must stay alert to keep you afloat and prevent disorientation when you’re in the water for too long.
Chess is a strategic thinking board game that is currently recognized as a sport. As a chess player, there are hundreds of moves you can make to either lose or win. Chess has proven to increase brain function in players because they have to think fast and predict their opponent's next move. It is a game that can last days; hence you must be patient and make many calculations. To become a smart and advanced player, you must memorize strategies and play multiple times to improve your odds and skills and increase memory capacity.
Basketball is a fast-paced sport that requires excellent teamwork, athleticism, and hand-eye coordination. When playing this sport, you need to be strategic and develop the discipline to win. Basketball improves your visual accuracy and distance measurement as you have to shoot the ball from varying distances or bounce it to a teammate without your opponent stealing it. This set of skills ultimately make your brain sharper and smarter.
Cricket is now played at an international level in a modernized style than it was in the previous years. It is a sport that requires strategy, speed, skill, and cooperation from teammates to succeed. As a cricket player, you must learn to deal with high-pressure situations, large audiences and develop the stamina to last in a game of 2 to 3 hours. Cricket also develops excellent hand-eye coordination and concentration in players and their teammates, resulting in a sharper and smarter brain.
When you begin training on a new sport, you may focus more on the physical technique. However, for pickleball players, improving your game also requires mental focus. Pickleball is sometimes mistaken for tennis, and although there are some similarities, they have many distinctions. Among other differences, you need to know is how to choose a pickleball paddle, which almost looks like a tennis racquet but smaller.
Participating in pickleball as a group improves social interaction, elevates your mood, and can ward off depression by releasing feel-good hormones known as endorphins. Although pickleball is much slower than tennis, it still requires balance and mental focus to change strategies, making your brain sharper and smarter.
Soccer is a universal sport known as football in many countries. Soccer is a team sport that improves physical ability and mental capacity. As a player, you have to think fast with the changing field conditions for your team to win. Soccer also requires the ability to measure an action like conducting mental calculations on where to pass the ball, the intensity of the kick, and with what speed to keep it moving.
Figure skating is a sport that involves many reflexes and moves, some of which don’t seem to obey the laws of physics. So, while it is stunning to watch figure skaters glide across the ice, there's a lot you can't see concerning what goes on in their brains to make it possible. As a figure skater, the brain cerebellum works to its capacity to control reflexes like tilting backward and pitching forward without falling. In addition, many figure skaters have more grey matter due to constant brain exercise by the cerebellum that issues motor commands to the muscles.
Martial arts is a sport that the majority of the people in many countries are yet to embrace. It comes in different forms, for example, karate, Krav Maga, judo, and kung fu. The one thing they have in common is their ability to boost one's intelligence by making your brain sharper. When engaging in one of these sports, you must optimize your awareness to help you feel, observe, hear, and see every aspect of your environment to enable you to act fast. Martial arts also makes you smarter by improving cognitive brain areas that involve calculation and geometry when you measure time and distance.
These e-sports are also known as video games. Recently, with technological advancements and internet connectivity, electronic sports have become more competitive. They have also been proven to improve cognitive function due to their fast nature that requires players to make decisions within a short time frame. With video games, you need to make repetitive moves that, in turn, improve your hand-eye coordination. Every game is different, and you must learn as fast as possible; it creates many brain neural connections that make you smarter.
A common misconception about golf is that it is only a pleasurable and relaxing game from start to finish. Besides swinging the club and walking, golf can be taxing on the mind and body; you must focus on your surroundings and learn how to adjust your game accordingly. You need to understand your environment, concentrate before making a move, and exercise patience.
Gymnasts exercise their bodies and brains. The various exercises and movements open neural pathways in the brain to allow communication between the right and left hemispheres. This increases the reading ability, which enhances academic achievement in many gymnasts. In addition, by participating in gymnastics, you become a confident learner, which is beneficial to your career when you need to make quick decisions. Other benefits of gymnastics that make your brain sharper include:
- Enhanced imagination
- Problem-solving skills
- Concentration and mental focus
- Independent thinking
Rowing is a brain-healthy sport that gets to be enjoyed by people living near water masses. Nowadays, more people engage in it either individually or as a team. If you live in an area where you can access rowing, you can make your brain sharper by engaging in it. There are many dangers associated with rowing out on the water, such as tides and storms. Rowing requires mental calculations to steer the raft in the right direction to and fro. It also needs coordination with your teammates to increase speed or slow down and complete the activity safely.
Yoga is among the top listed sports that develop a sharper and smarter brain by enhancing maximum concentration. While you might get into it to improve balance, flexibility, muscle building, and fitness, yoga also works out your mind. Practicing yoga improves your concentration daily, not only during the activity, by clearing your mind, interpreting constant thoughts, and helping you focus better.
There are many forms of skiing, such as downhill, adaptive, cross country, and off-piste. All these require proprioception that involves understanding how to position many body parts and putting effort into moving them successfully. Proprioception is a cognitive ability that diminishes as you age; the more you involve yourself in activities such as skiing, the less it becomes. Apart from proprioception, skiing provides other mental benefits that improve your brain's smartness, like concentration, cognitive capacity, and problem-solving skills.
Sports affect the body and mind. By engaging in sports such as tennis, yoga, figure skating, and even aggressive games, you improve your brain development. When participating in a sport, focus on the physical and mental wellness aspects they provide. If you want your brain to grow sharper and smarter, these are some of the sports you should play.