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“Brain fitness” is a fairly recent scientific development. Researchers believe that people can use cognitive training tools to improve or “exercise” their brain. Since the brain is a muscle, it stands to reason that such activities could improve cognitive function and memory.
Originally, scientists began doing this research to help the elderly fight off the neurological deterioration process so they could maintain an independent lifestyle, but they eventually realized this research could be useful to people of any age. Fortunately, there is some good news: it isn’t hard to create and introduce a brain fitness regimen into your life.
There is even better news than that: this regimen can benefit your life in multiple ways. As an example, here is a list of ten benefits you will see from a brain fitness regimen.
1.FASTER THINKING: Who among us couldn’t stand to come up with answers a little sooner than we currently do? Here’s the frustrating thing about our brains: even though our wisdom grows with age, this is hampered by the fact that the brain’s processing speed also slows down. With the proper exercises, a person can increase their thinking speed by 135%.
2.BETTER MEMORY: We live in a password-heavy world. That alone should illuminate the value of having a better memory. Not only does the ability to remember make us feel more confident, not to mention competent, but it can also improve our social life. How so? Well, don’t you think you make that person you met once ten weeks ago feel special if you remember their name? And how do you think your kids would feel if you remembered what they wanted for their birthday without having to ask them a dozen times?
3. GETTING THINGS DONE: We all have lengthy “to do” lists. Better brain fitness means the ability to get more done in shorter amounts of time, and to make more efficient use of that time. You will be able to see better ways to arrange the order in which you do your tasks, errands, chores, assignments, etc.
4.TRYING NEW THINGS: You might wonder how brain fitness has anything to do with this. It is quite simple: you will have more energy to try new things! Certain brain exercises can engage important chemicals in your mind, and you will find your curiosity magically awakened.
5. FINDING WORDS: Have you ever been having a conversation with someone about a difficult topic, and you find yourself struggling to find the right words to say what you mean? Brain fitness can put an end to that by improving auditory processing and fluency. This also relates back to item #1 on our list.
6. SHARPER LISTENING: The sounds we hear around us are all signals that get interpreted by our brains. Therefore, a healthier brain means better listening skills. Better listening can assist us in all areas of our life, whether we deal with customers at work who have thick accents, or are trying to make sense of a fast-talking grandchild.
7.SHARPER VISION: Just like with our hearing, seeing things involves visual cues being interpreted by the brain. A sharper brain means you can take in more details of what you see, and react to things more quickly. This could help people avoid car crashes, play tennis better, and get more enjoyment out of any landmarks they see when they go on vacations.
8.QUICKER REACTIONS: Where the mind goes, the body will follow. This benefit can also be tied to item #7 on our list. The faster you see a child run into the street, the faster you can step on the brakes. Better brain fitness allows you to register things like this more quickly.
9. SAFER DRIVING: You could say this entry on the list is tied to items #7 and #8, and maybe even #6. If a deer runs out of the woods at the last second, it is up to your brain to send a signal down to your foot to hit the brake in time. There are several brain exercises that can improve something called your “useful field of view,” not to mention your reaction time. In fact, one exercise from website Brain HQ has been shown to cut at-fault crash risk by almost 50%.
10. SELF-CONFIDENCE AND GOOD MOOD: In our modern-day, technology-heavy world, it is important to be intellectually sharp. Think of how much more confident you feel when people compliment you for knowing a lot about a topic, or being able to figure out a complicated problem before anyone else. As you get older, you gain more knowledge about a wide variety of topics. Combine this wisdom with a sharp mind, and you will be unstoppable!
As for the “Good Mood” portion of this last entry, it might puzzle some of you. Many people might not associate this item with brain fitness, but take a moment to reflect on this. Let’s say you have a romantic partner who cheats on you. People will say that you got your heart broken, meaning you are feeling sadness…but are feelings generated by the heart? No, emotions are created in the mind. Plus, there are many brain exercises that stimulate the release of several brain chemicals that help people feel upbeat.
As you can see, there are many benefits to adding a brain-fitness regimen to your day. That sounds fine, but how do you do it? Here are three quick ways to start:
- EAT RIGHT: Nutrition gives your body and muscles everything they need to function better. Notice we said “muscle,” and in the beginning of this article, it was pointed out that the brain is also a muscle. It’s not just your washboard abs that benefit from good nutrition!
- PLAY GAMES: Another option would be to find websites or other resources that have brain-fitness exercises. For something easy, begin with Sudoku or a crossword puzzle.
- LEARN SOMETHING NEW: Challenging the brain to understand new information is like picking up a heavier dumbbell at the gym. It will force your mind to work harder.