Out of all the faculties a person can possess, it is arguably the mind that should always be sharpened and honed so as to always be ready for just about anything. There are a large number of people nowadays that suffer from degenerative disorders of the mind. It is sad that millions of people have fallen victim to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia. These illnesses cause significant major deterioration to the cognition and the ability of the brain and the mind to function properly. Sadder still is the fact that studies have shown that constant practice and stimulation of the brain actually prevents degenerative diseases. Better yet, constant stimulation and exercising helps improve and even increase brain power. But is there a way to boost brain power without focusing on nothing but puzzles? Here are a couple of sports and physical activities that actively engage in improving brain capacity.
When thinking up a list of sports that help in keeping the brain in tip top shape, the sport Table Tennis is almost always in the top ten. Table Tennis, or colloquially known as Ping Pong, is a sport that has been around for quite a while. It is basically, as the name suggests, a miniature version of tennis played on a table. Table tennis can be played in single or double match (meaning having two players on each side). What makes Table Tennis different and a little more special than regular tennis is the distance between the players. Because the players are a lot nearer, the ball travels a lot faster and there is a lot less time to react and therefore forces the player to think on his or her feet. Just like regular tennis, Table Tennis has different kinds of strikes that would result in different kinds of spins and angulations for the ball. Because of this, the player is forced to think fast, and thus, engage the mind as much as the muscle.
Billiards is one of those games that some people would not really consider as a sport. That said, it is no secret that being good at billiard takes a lot more than just a general ability to hold a stick and hit a ball with it. In fact, Billiards is one of the few sports that really take more mental ability than physical prowess to get right. There are a lot of ways to play billiard but the gist of it is to hit specific balls with the white ball into a hole. It takes a lot of planning and practice to get right. Practicing Billiards can actually help in stimulation of spatial awareness.
It may seem a little counter-intuitive to count martial arts and contact sports as exercises or activities that promote brain power development (what with all the boxers that suffer from Parkinson’s disease and other degenerative neurological diseases) but there are really a handful of them that actually help not only in teaching self-defense but also in developing mental prowess. Jiu Jitsu is one great example of a martial art that develop the senses. Unlike traditional contact sports and martial arts, Jiu Jitsu does not only teach kicking, punching, and other types of striking but also grappling. This makes it a sort of a tactical exercise since sparring demands partners to out-think each other and thus creates an atmosphere of intellectual stimulation.
Despite what many see as a very easy game to play when one has the right body for it, basketball is actually a very mentally demanding sport that really needs ones full attention on a lot of things. From the rhythm of dribbling a ball to taking into consideration all teammates and opponents on the court, to aiming the ball correctly, basketball is one mentally engaging sport that helps keep one’s mind sharp.
Archery may seem like just some medieval remnant but it actually is quite an engaging activity that really helps relieve a lot of mental stress and even train one to better the aim and focus. Archery really help in promoting hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness. It also has ties with eastern practice of meditation that ancient people have used to help clear their minds and sharpen their senses. All in all, Archery is really a sport that is promoting the mind as well as the spirit.
Lots of Others
There are also a number of other sports and activities out there that really help in boosting brain power, but these are the few that can be done by just about anybody at just about any age.