How can I improve my brain power?

Perhaps the most overlooked brain booster may be the most potent one: exercise. Research continues to accumulate that proves that exercise boosts brainpower. In fact, working out can actually increase brain volume, neuron-firing activity and even the number of brain cells. 
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
It certainly helps if you’re interested in the material you’re learning, but there are some other strategies you can use to help your brain soak up the world.
  • Switch roles. You’re used to learning from teachers, but you’ll actually learn better if you have to teach the information to someone else. Try studying with friends, becoming a tutor, or assist coaching your younger sibling’s sports team. Dr. Roizen learned by practice teaching (to himself on a white board) whatever he learned in classes.
  • Learn some jokes. Humor can also have a valuable effect on your memory. Humor requires what the laugh doctors call conceptual blending--that is, the ability to relate the expected to the unexpected; we laugh when something surprising happens. Having a sense of humor is a sign of intelligence. Telling a joke, like being a teacher, is another way to challenge your brain. You have to be able to play mental hopscotch from one word to another to make sure that the story, joke, riddle, or pun combines a set of  expected and unexpected circumstances. In other words, what happens once the guy walks into the bar? And ultimately, to tell the joke right, you have to have a fair amount of social intelligence as well--the ability to maximize the tension and mystery of the joke until the very last second.
  • Use visuals. One way to strengthen your mind is by flexing parts that you don’t use often, such as those associated with imagination. So try this trick: Map out a problem you have. That is, draw a picture of your issue in the middle of a piece of paper, then branch out with smaller subsections and key words related to that issue. This will help you develop more problem-solving and decision-making skills.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.