Published on May 25th, 2023
The whole idea behind adopting a new hobby is to relax. While many people also plan on learning something new when picking up a new activity, the emphasis is on recreation rather than education. But depending on what type of brain you were born with, what appeals to you might sound a little too dry for others.
Those with active and powerful brains might find that the standard staples of watching television or listening to music simply don’t meet their needs.
Oftentimes, they want to take a more hands-on approach to a certain topic, understanding it from new angles and crafting their own approach. In fact, some hobbies are simply associated with higher IQ levels and greater memory skills.
If you’ve ever wondered how brainy people relax or want to improve your own mental elasticity, then we’ve listed out a few of the world’s brainiest hobbies, along with what makes them so out of reach for the average person.
And no, these natural-born thinkers aren’t all into speed cubing and memorizing pi. In fact, all of the activities listed below are a lot more common than you might think. First up: poker.
Poker is one of the world’s most popular card games. Despite its high-profile reputation and how many people enjoy playing the game, it’s not for the faint of heart… or the faint of mind.
In fact, to play successfully it is essential to memorize poker hand rankings and how the rules shift according to each variation, like in Texas Hold’em and Omaha.
To succeed in poker, memorizing rules and rankings is only the start. Players should also excel in making observations – how is the game going? Is another player attempting to bluff? And should they attempt a showdown with their current hand? On top of observing the table, poker players must also change tactics as the game advances and, of course, manage their bankrolls.
Fantasy sports, similar to poker, may seem a bit too commonplace to be a truly head-focused hobby. However, just because lots of people play doesn’t mean they also succeed.
And one of the biggest reasons why a fantasy sports player will succeed is by studying the relevant stats on players, teams, and leagues. Lots and lots of stats.
In fact, fantasy sports were born from this adoration of hard data. Back in the late 1960s, baseball fans were busy delving into stats, recording play-by-plays in order to glean new insights about the game.
This love of numbers transformed into a theoretical league in which fantasy teams compete and win—all based on statistics.
Learning how to play an instrument is incredibly difficult. Excelling with that instrument is even more of a challenge—and one that not many musicians will be able to accomplish.
This is especially true for piano players because, compared to other instruments, they must multi-task and fuse together multiple notes using ten fast-moving fingers.
The piano is so difficult to learn and master that its largely used as a tool to teach music theory to budding musicians. Because the notes are laid out in terms of pitch from left to right, it’s a great method to teach the basics.
But learning how to read two clefs, reading multiple notes at once (there are 88 on a piano alone), and then keeping the fingers moving in perfect order is an incredibly demanding task.
Gardening is one of the world’s most regenerative and meditative hobbies—but not many people would imagine it to also be an intellectual pursuit.
However, if you’re actually tending to a garden, then you’re fusing together multiple complex arts, including ecology, meteorology, and biology.
Most are crafting organic laboratories right there in their own gardens. To yield a strong crop or foster a beautiful flower bed, a gardener has to analyze their soil’s contents, incorporate compost, map out sun exposure, learn how to control pests without preventing pollination, and much more.
Uniquely, a gardener will also need to work in tandem with natural cycles to succeed—which is a challenge that no other hobbyist on this list will need to tackle.
By far, one of the most unsuspecting brainy hobbies is knitting. Just like gardening, it’s often associated with relaxation, including meditation and crafting.
However, when we look a bit below the surface, it’s highly complex. To knit well, a person must concentrate—without skipping a single stitch over an hour or more of activity.
Once again, they’ll also need to flex those memorization muscles if they want to expand their knowledge of knits.
Over time, knitters will find that they have superior concentration skills than their peers—along with plenty of patience and perseverance.
In other words, those who succeed in knitting are natural-born problem solvers that enjoy a thorough and detailed approach to life.