Staying Mentally Fit Can Make a Difference Your Brain isn’t a Muscle
How Staying Mentally Fit Can Make a Difference your brain isn’t a muscle, but you can treat it like one
A lot of people mainly focus on physical fitness, but few know that brain fitness is also something you can work on. In fact, you can exercise your brain as often as you would your arms or abs, and the results can be positive and empowering. It’s really helpful to think of your brain as you would a muscle. To get better in your Staying Mentally Fit, you can’t simply repeat the same exercises over and over. Just as lifting a two pound weight will cease to challenge, you’ll be repetitive exercises such as crosswords or Sudoku. Once you master easy exercises, you must move on to harder ones in order to push your brain like your muscles to a new level. This is based on your brain’s innate neuroplasticity, or its ability to grow and change in response to new challenges. In other words, the right types of stimulating exercises can physically change your brain.
The science behind brain training once believed that your mental abilities were fixed in adulthood. Now neuroplasticity studies have shown just the opposite, now millions of people around the world have adopted the new practice of brain training. The most popular of these brain training products are made by the San Francisco-based Lumosity, which employs a team of in-house neuroscientists with degrees from Stanford and UC Berkeley. Realizing that brains need more sophisticated programs and guidance to grow and change, Lumosity’s scientists work with an experienced team of game designers. Together they have developed an effective fun online brain training program that measures, tracks, and adapts to your progress, so you will always be challenged. Lumosity’s training algorithm and 40+ games are based on well-studied tests used in clinical neuropsychology research.
Promising studies on the effects of brain training in a 2013 Stanford, a treatment group of 21 breast cancer survivors used twelve weeks of Lumosity training to work on processing speed, mental flexibility, and working memory tasks. However, on average, those who trained improved on tests of these abilities, compared to a group that did not train with Lumosity.
There is even some preface evidence suggesting that Lumosity may be helpful to normal, healthy adults. Study conduct in 2011 on Lumosity in San Francisco State University, 13 people who did Lumosity training over five weeks improved on tests of brain performance compared to a group that did not train. On average, those who trained improved working memory scores by 10% and attention scores by 20%.
Brain training is designed to address real-life requirements, and the goal of brain training is not to improve game scores: it’s to get better the underlying core abilities that those games rely on. Neuroscientists like those at Lumosity design brain games meant to translate into real-life benefits; with continued testing and research, the body of evidence behind brain training continues to grow. Better attention, for example, can mean greater focus in the classroom or at an important business meeting. With improved processing speed, you might react and adapt faster to the demands of a busy life. And a better memory could mean stronger, longer relationships with the people closest to you.
You must realize that brain training is an investment, and it can take just a few minutes a day and in terms of rewards can make a difference in many aspects of life. Lumosity is the most popular brain training program in existence. There’s a small fee to use the full product, or new users can start a free trial.