Tag Archive for Memory

Hula Hooping Makes Us Smarter

Woman's Brain[Hooping.org’s Editor Philo Hagen gets smarter with hooping.]

by Philo Hagen

We’d all like to improve and sharpen our memory, so what if aerobic exercise not only did that, but it actually preserved gray matter in the brain? And wouldn’t it be cool if the simple act of meditation honed our connections between our reasoning and our emotions? I, for one, would really love to understand and remember more of what I read and hear and see, to be able to fully grasp and hold onto skills and knowledge and information, and to be able to connect all these tiny bits of knowledge together for better understanding of myself, others and the world around me. And now Newsweek Magazine is reporting that all of these things are possible for us in the modern age – and we don’t need anything newfangled to make it happen. In fact, we can up and improve our own personal intelligence all on our own. While some of the solutions Newsweek offer for getting smarter are as simple as getting plenty of sleep and drinking enough water, others involve us being engaged, active and alive.

We’ve been told throughout our lives that the smarts we have are the smarts we got. Our IQ wasn’t something we really had any control over. Now it seems that simply isn’t true. It can in fact be raised and not just by a mere point or two. A groundbreaking study published this fall in Nature revealed that our IQ can rise by a staggering 21 points over 4 years — or fall by as much 18. How does that translate to real life? Cognitive scientist Cathy Price of University College London, who led the research, said, “If an individual moved from an IQ of 110 to an IQ of 130 they’d go from being ‘average’ to ‘gifted.’ And if they moved from 104 to 84 they’d go from being high average to below average.” It all comes down to neuroplasticity, the capacity of the brain to change and to create new neurons. Research shows we have it well into our 60s and 70s. Price says, “The same degree of plasticity [seen in young adults] may be present throughout life.” And the key to keeping our plasticity alive and well can be easily unlocked by stepping inside a plastic ring.