Exercising the Brain Muscle

Estimated read time 3 min read

The brain is a muscle and mental activity creates connections between nerve cells in the brain. The brain is a muscle and like all muscles, it gets stronger through exercise. Mental activity creates stronger connections between brain nerve cells. Being challenged to think exercises the brain muscle.

One of the most critical organs of the human body is perhaps the brain. It induces thinking and influences various other activities which help us to execute basic functions in our day to day lives.

Sometimes we say that some people have got more brains than other people. How true is that? Is smartness only an innate quality, something we are born with? Or can it be changed over the course of time? Turns out, the brain is like any other muscle- the more you train it, the stronger it grows. Just as some people have a better physique than the rest due to genetic inheritance, some people are born with a better-developed brain. 

However, if trained and exercised regularly, anybody can achieve fitness and it is exactly the same with the brain. It does not matter much how developed a brain you were born with, working your brain and training it regularly makes all the difference. 

When you hit the gym, your muscles are made to do the work that it usually struggles with and doing that repeatedly, your muscles are strained and they become more developed and stronger. In a similar manner, in order to develop your brain, it needs to be constantly challenged, continuously met with new obstructions. The brain will develop a better problem-solving capacity only when it faces problems. 

In an easy environment, the brain is less likely to grow. According to the basic biology of the brain, neurons or nerve cells within the brain develop greater and more intricate connections when they are stimulated by mental activity. The more connections between the nerve cells, the faster you will be able to think and therefore the strength of your brain muscle will increase. The more you practice using your brain muscle, the easier it will be for the brain to find information.

There are several ways to stimulate your brain to think. Easy and fun activities such as memory-based games, practicing mental math, playing strategic games like chess go a long way in exercising your brain muscle and making you sharper. Chess exercises the brain muscle in a highly effective way, studies have shown. 

The main concept of chess is that players have to constantly strategize, constantly face new problems (therefore the brain has to think about new moves) and in this way, the brain remains constantly stimulated. Therefore it is not a question of whether you are so-called ‘smart’ or ‘dumb’, the real question is whether you are exercising your brain muscle or not.

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