The brain can be in a sense exercised just like muscles can. And just as muscular exertion and exercise increase muscular power, various exercises, activities, and habits can increase brain power.

Your brain is like the interface between your consciousness and the world “out there” so you want to make sure it is sharp. The following are 8 ways you may not have heard of to improve your brain power.

1. Eat the Right Foods

Did you know that various foods are directly related to an increase in brain power? You may have already heard of the main ones – fruits (especially berries like blueberries) and vegetables rich in vitamins A, E, B, C, Magnesium and Folate.

But there are some foods you may not have thought would increase brain power which, in fact, do. One of these is dark chocolate.

Dark chocolate stimulates the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain which helps the brain function at optimal levels.

Another is fish oil. Fish oil is used as raw material for the brain and has been shown to benefit the emotional centers of the brain as well as increase focus.

2. Variety of Stimulating and Challenging Activities

The brain needs to be both challenged and stimulated in order to get stronger in somewhat the same way muscles need to be challenged and stimulated. And it does not need to be challenged in only one way.

Just as you would not only do thrusts or the bench press when working out, you need a variety of upbeat, interesting, and intellectually challenging activities to really give that brain a good workout.

What this means is that selecting a series of interesting, fun, and stimulating activities require concentration and reasoning makes really good sense from a brain standpoint.

Some of the other items on this list represent such activities. But it’s important to have the overall understanding of this principle, and this will allow you to select your own such activities.

3. Draw

Drawing is a great brain exercising activity. It uses, as many people know mainly the right hemisphere of the brain.

This is the part of the brain that thinks holistically and is essentially nonverbal. It tends to be associated with brain activity of various types.

Drawing also uses hand eye coordination which exercises and strengthens the motor areas of the brain.

4. Learn a New Language

Learning a new language strongly exercises the other side of the brain – the left side. The left brain deals with the analytical and verbal functions and both of these are strongly utilized when you are learning a new language.

This is a challenging activity for the left brain and can be a great brain stimulation technique overall.

So choose a language you’ve always wanted to learn (perhaps spoken in a country you have always wanted to visit), get a primer book, and start learning those commonly used nouns and verbs!

5. Use Hand other than Dominant Hand

If you are right handed, try doing some tasks with your left hand. If you are left handed, try doing some tasks with your right hand.

This simple activity will exercise your brain in new ways related to muscle coordination as well as the hemispheres. A side benefit is that if you get good enough at this, you can boast that you are ambidextrous.

6. Walk and Climb

Walking on uneven surfaces like a rocky road helps improve brain power, believe it or not. Most people are capable of at least doing this.

If you can actually climb rocks or trees, so much the better. These types of activity are very stimulating for your brain and coordination and will increase brain power.

7. Wiggle Fingers and Toes in the Morning

Wiggling your fingers and toes while paying close attention to these parts of the body is very good for your brain.

Try doing this first thing when you get up in the morning. Slowly wiggle and move your fingers and toes while keeping vivid awareness of them.

You may find that you wake up more alert and able to focus on the activities of the day.

8. Create Vivid Images

An important brain related function is imagination and visualization. You can exercise this capacity and in so doing increase your brain power.

Try having meditation or visualization sessions in which you vividly imagine various scenarios. Try to put yourself into these scenarios.

Also try to visualize all the senses – sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste as clearly as possible.

You can do this just with fantasy sorts of scenarios of a general sort of ones that involve seeing yourself achieving goals or having experiences you’d like to have.

Thinking in terms of increasing your brain power is a very good approach. Research shows that it is very possible to do this.

Just as you can take control of your physical development by exercising, you can become the captain of your own ship as far as your brain and intellectual development goes by trying out these interesting and fun brain enhancement activities.