5 Hobbies That Will Make You Smarter

Hobbies are great for relieving stress. They give you an outlet for creativity and physical activity, which helps to keep a good work-life balance.

But did you know that certain hobbies can also improve your intelligence? Here are five hobbies you can take up to sharpen your mind, boost your focus, and even make you smarter.

1. Puzzles. From childhood to adulthood, we love to play with puzzles. Not only are they a fun challenge for our minds but they're also a form of creativity. You're putting together an art piece without ever picking up a brush. By working on a 2000 piece puzzle or even a 500 piece puzzle, you can improve your hand-eye coordination, cognitive functioning, and analytical skills.

2. Exercising. Many people see exercise as a chore rather than a hobby. But if you find a form of exercise that you enjoy doing like dance, swimming, or boxing, you can easily turn regularly exercise into a hobby of yours. Exercise keeps your mind sharp by bringing more oxygen to the brain and improving cell growth in the hippocampus, an area of the brain associated with memory and learning.

3. Reading. Reading is a great hobby because, in today's age of technology, you can do it anywhere. You can listen to audiobooks, read on your phone, access the public library, or buy books online. Reading boosts your intelligence by introducing you to new words, opening your mind to new ideas, and expanding your knowledge of other cultures.

4. Learn a musical instrument. Musical instruments come in a wide variety so you can find one that works for you. You can even change the way some instruments are played to suit your needs if you have a disability. When you learn a new instrument, you improve your skills in leadership, innovation, and confidence.

5. Play video games. Video games are just like puzzles, but they're on a screen. In fact, video games have been shown to improve spatial reasoning skills, strategy, social skills, and memory.

There's a reason why easy puzzles are great for kids. The human brain makes the most connections among its cells before you turn 10-years-old, making puzzles great for learning and development whether they're 2000 piece puzzles or simple puzzles.

Whether you're a fan of big jigsaw puzzles or 750 piece puzzles, try your hand at puzzles to keep your mind sharp, improve problem-solving skills, and boost your self-esteem.