How to train your brain and boost its functioning
We are all aware of the importance of regularly exercising our bodies. But did you realize that exercising your intellect is just as important? Your brain, like your muscles, need regular action to keep strong and healthy. And, as with physical exercise, the more you push your brain, the better it will perform. It is natural for our memory and brain ability to deteriorate as we age. We may be unable to recollect names or learn new duties as fast as we used to. But there is still hope! Brain training has been demonstrated in studies to help delay cognitive decline, boost memory, brain function, and learning, and even prevent dementia. However, there is one caveat: brain training must be done consistently for long-term effects.
Because of its potential to expand and adapt, the brain reacts to instruction. Neuroplasticity occurs when nerve cells and grey matter in the brain respond to stimuli by reorganizing their structure and connections, improving their function. Once the brain training has been done consistently for a few weeks, the new connections are permanently entrenched, referred to as “consolidation.”
Simply said, Walking through a grass field once will cause the grass to bounce back. This is what happens if you train your brain once. If you travel that same path (perform brain training) every day, the grass will be crushed and flattened, and a permanent path will be formed. This happens when you exercise your brain regularly, resulting in neuroplasticity and consolidation; it’s a simple matter of “use it or lose it.”
Brain training can help slow down cognitive decline
Cognitive decline is one of the most prevalent worries among older persons. This can express itself in various ways, including forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, and slower thinking. Fortunately, brain training has been demonstrated to decrease cognitive decline. According to one research, four weeks of brain training increased memory, processing speed, and executive function in healthy older persons. Another study discovered that twelve months of brain training utilizing the Brain HQ website or app resulted in better hand-eye coordination and attention in persons with mild cognitive impairment. These studies demonstrate that brain training can be an effective method of combating cognitive decline.
Easy ways to give your brain a workout
Brain training apps
With so many demands on our time, it’s no surprise that many of us believe our mental power isn’t what it once was. Fortunately, various brain training applications are available to assist us in improving our memory, attention, and cognition. Brain HQ has previously been mentioned. This brain-training program was created by a team of neuroscientists, or experts specializing in the brain. It is one of the few brain training applications recommended by doctors. The military also uses it to increase the brain function of elite soldiers. It aids decision-making (whether or not to shoot), enhances focus, and allows their brains to operate quicker under duress.
Lumosity, one of the most well-known applications, provides a variety of enjoyable and difficult games aimed at boosting memory and problem-solving abilities. It is one of the priciest monthly memberships. Elevate is another popular alternative, with over 40 games and exercises focusing on arithmetic, writing, and remembering. There are two versions: free and paid.
Peak is another software with activities that aid with memory, focus, and overall mental agility. There is a free version, but you may pay for extra games and metrics to measure your progress. There are several other brain training programs accessible both online and as mobile phone apps.
With so many fantastic alternatives available, there’s no reason not to challenge your mind! Before upgrading to the premium versions, make sure you sample the free versions first. It is also a good idea to check reviews because some programs, such as Luminosity, have been known to make unsubstantiated promises and make unsubscribing difficult.
Stop trying to multi-task
According to research, focusing on more than one subject at a time is difficult. This is especially true for the elderly. When we focus on more than one item, our short-term memory is disrupted. This is evident when we seek something and then lose sight of what we were looking for. As we age, we need to focus on one activity at a time rather than focusing on numerous activities simultaneously.
We remember things by doing three things: taking in new information, recording it, and retrieving it. These actions take place in distinct areas of the brain. The brain can also alter as we age, which may cause us to recall things more slowly. However, this is not always the case: those who study a lot have powerful brains, just as those who exercise have strong muscles. In fact, several studies demonstrate that as we become older, we may learn and grow more efficiently.
Learning new things and staying mentally active are vital ways to maintain your brain healthy. This can be accomplished by continuing to work or volunteer, learning new skills, reading about unexpected subjects, or participating in games such as chess. Learning a second language is worthwhile since speaking many languages (the more, the merrier) has been demonstrated to postpone the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and boost memory. Playing a musical instrument improves not just your hand-eye coordination, long-term memory, and muscle memory; musicians have more grey matter in their brains than non-musicians. Learning dancing routines is another enjoyable hobby that helps boost your concentration and memory while also keeping your body fit and healthy.
Get enough sleep.
With all of this studying, brain training, and dancing, it is critical to obtain adequate sleep, not just for your general health but also for your brain’s health. Sleep aids in the consolidation of what you have learned into your long-term memory. Furthermore, while you’re well-rested, you’ll be able to concentrate more clearly and focus on the brain-training and studying more readily. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep every night, and if you have difficulties sleeping, there are many effective sleep hygiene ideas and tactics online to help you catch some shut-eye.
Following these easy guidelines can give your brain the exercise required to be strong and healthy! And the stronger and healthier your brain is, the better it will work throughout your life.
- Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease: What Do We Know? https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/preventing-alzheimers-disease-what-do-we-know
- What is Brain Plasticity? https://www.simplypsychology.org/brain-plasticity.html
- Modeling memory consolidation during post training periods in cerebellovestibular learning https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1413798112
- Brain Training Game Improves Executive Functions and Processing Speed in the Elderly: A Randomized Controlled Trial https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0029676
- Science Team & Research Partners https://www.brainhq.com/world-class-science/science-team
- BrainHQ for the Military https://www.brainhq.com/partners/brainhq-for-the-military/
- Lumosity https://www.lumosity.com/en/
- Elevate https://elevateapp.com/
- Peak https://www.peak.net/
- Brain Game App Lumosity To Pay $2 Million Fine For ‘Deceptive Advertising’ https://time.com/4169123/lumosity-2-million-fine/
- UCSF Study on Multitasking Reveals Switching Glitch in Aging Brain https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2011/04/98360/ucsf-study-multitasking-reveals-switching-glitch-aging-brain
- The amazing fertility of the older mind https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20170828-the-amazing-fertility-of-the-older-mind
- Language learning makes the brain grow, Swedish study suggests https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121008082953.htm
- Your Aging Brain Will Be in Better Shape If You’ve Taken Music Lessons https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/140103-music-lessons-brain-aging-cognitive-neuroscience
- Sleep, Learning, and Memory https://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep/learning-memory
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