Habits that Sharpen Your Brain.

You most likely spend at least a couple of hours each week training your body-doing cardio, weight training, or even just walking. You’re training your muscles to stay pliant and strong, your joints to stay fluid, and your body’s physical systems to run ideally. At the same time how much time do you spend training your brain? Brain training isn’t a fresh concept. It can help us remember information, recall facts more quickly, and hone our focus. Even a brief course of brain exercises can help older adults enhance reasoning skills and processing speed for ten years after the training ends, according to a recent federally sponsored research on cognitive training.

Here are seven simple daily habits you can work into your schedule to sharpen your intelligence:

1. Follow ideas through to various outcomes.

Entrepreneurs are often bedeviled with more ideas than time to deal with them in. Make it a habit to do idea exercises-come up with three potential outcomes for your next idea, even if there’s only one way you expect it to turn out. Visualize your idea in various ways. Make it a habit to take into account more alternatives.

2. Add 10-20 minutes of aerobic exercise to your day.

Aerobic activity axes your lifetime risk of Alzheimer’s in half and your risk of general dementia by sixty percent, according to John Medina, PhD, director of the Seattle Pacific University Brain Center for Applied Learning Research. Probably, you’re exercising already for the physical benefits, but if not, the fact it can keep you sharp and even enhance your creativity, should be great motivators!

3. Engage in stimulating conversation.

In reality-outside the computer or mobile phone screen. The art of tête-à-tête requires that we think on our feet, and conversing with someone smarter than you can be a fantastic exercise in quick thinking as well as a chance to learn something new. Seek out interesting people and engage them in conversation, however concise.

4. Take online courses.

You can learn anything online-even on a mobile device. Commit to learning something new everyday, whether it’s during your transit to work, on your lunch break, or in the five spare minutes you have between meetings. Better yet, make it something super useful, like learning a new language.

5. Give your brain a break.

You can’t be “on” all the time. Make productivity apps a part of your daily schedule, to automate redundant tasks that take up your time and brain space.

6. Practice a hobby.

Make sure you’re doing something that you love, every day. If your brain is continuously bogged down in work, it has no time or space to explore creative, fun ideas and concepts. In fact, some recreational activites-like playing video games or practicing a musical instrument-can help sharpen your intelligence as well!

7. Look, Listen, Learn.

Try working an array of media types into your day. Read reports, listen to podcasts, watch video clips whenever you can, and use gamified apps or sites when possible. Switch it up so you’re using more of your senses to take in information, and staying more engrossed to retain more of it. If you’re finding yourself bored to death with reading or bogged down in audio files, take a break and try a new media type.