We are used to thinking that brains and brawn don’t walk hand in hand, but this assumption is not true, as there are many aspects that make physical activity beneficial for brain cell growth and for the nervous system in general.
So let’s discuss sports, both mental and physical, and see where’s the link that connects sports to IQ.
This one is a no brainer, right? A game of chess is like an hour-long workout at the gym, but for your brain. The time spent around the chess board is beneficial for your concentration, decision-making skills, and intelligence. You have to move your chess pieces with a prediction of the opponent’s next move and also with your overall strategy in mind. So if you are looking for a present for your kids chess set is a great idea. Thankfully there are plenty of sets at any chess shop London has to offer.
Yes, it is officially a sport, as it is competitive and played for entertainment. It requires a lot of mental prowess, and it offers a definite advantage when it comes to developing cognitive abilities, training your memory, and also gaining remarkable physical control of the body. What we mean with the last point is the ability of professional poker players to control their physical response to stress and their facial muscle contractions, not to give out any ques. This is not as trivial as you might think. Those processes are involuntary and it takes determination, skill, and lots of practice to bring them out into the fold of controlled body reactions.
- Martial arts.
When it comes to contact fighting, we are talking about the overall strategy and skillfulness of the fight itself. This coin has two sides, as martial arts carry heavy risks of head injury, concussions, and trauma. But if we consider this sport from the strategic point of view it requires a very sophisticated and quick analysis of the situation. You have to calculate your opponent’s actions in a matter of a second and respond to them accordingly. It makes your brain sharper and quicker. The constant training improves blood circulation, which offers better blood supply to the brain.
Why hockey you ask? The answer is most clear when you think of children playing it. First of all, you are playing on skates, which makes it much more difficult for a child than soccer, or field hockey, games that have pretty much the same objective, but are played on foot. It means that the child has to coordinate numerous activities in one sport. Skating, using the hockey stick effectively, corresponding your actions with the rest of the team, and doing all of the above in a limited time frame. It’s a huge boost for the brain, and subsequently, a gym for your IQ.
This is not a separate sport strictly speaking, but it has lots of advantages when it comes to brain development. Triathlon has 3 consecutive races, most usually swimming, cycling, and running. Except for the obvious physical prowess, this sort of competition offers a big boost for the blood supply to the brain, as you are required to switch activities, thus improving cognitive function.
As you can see, sport is not that simple, and it’s not enough to have the physical ability. Your brain plays a big role is training, learning, and developing the required skills, which makes you smarter, sharper, and quicker in all senses of the word. So, play sports, stay healthy, and get smart at the same time!