Brain training, why it ought to be part of your daily workout routine; if you thought you were fit all over then check again – are you training your brain as well as your body? If not then you’re not quite there yet!
The body is your temple, fair enough, but what is it that makes that temple function? The brains behind the operation are your brains! We need to work the cognitive muscles as much as we do our bodily ones if we want to achieve our peak performance.
Science says: if we want to slow down the inevitable decline in mental function as we age then we must maintain good cognitive health. Our brain cells are consistently created throughout our whole lives and if we stimulate our minds this motivates that new growth. If we are idle, our production levels are less active. Active brain cells are supplied more blood, more oxygen and more nutrients which in turn encourages new cell growth. Basically, increased blood flow to the brain is a positive thing in slowing down the ageing process.
Brain training is an important activity as it inspires those brain cells that are loitering around not doing a whole lot and makes them vital to our cognitive fitness. We may assume that we have active minds but actually a lot of our daily life is run on mental autopilot. That which we do repeatedly does not cause our brain cells to be particularly active, that is; routine does not encourage new cell activity. Brain training however requires attentive thought and encourages new experiences where routine thinking does not. It needs to be done repeatedly with conscious effort, just as we would exercise any other part of us, if we want it to be effective.
So daily brain training is essential to our cognitive fitness…here’s how
There is a plethora of apps and online possibilities when it comes to brain training, but if, like me, you don’t want your entire life to be run by robots then here’s a list of effective non-digital ways to keep your mind healthy and active:
Whether you lean more to the wordy side of life or have a more mathematical brain, picking up a puzzle once a day can promote your cognitive health. Sudoku, crosswords, word searches etc. all help with brain training.
Pick up a book and read. Yes it is that simple. But the best and most effective way of reading (yes there are levels to that too) is to achieve ‘close reading’, this is the type of reading when you are deep into a good book. Flicking through a magazine does not stimulate the same level of cognitive reaction.
Try something new. Learning a new language is an excellent way to stimulate new brain cell growth as it is all new information being processed plus it requires a level of focus which can develop our ability to multitask. Taking a class in something new is a challenge for the grey matter and can help to slow down that mental ageing process.
Something as simple as picking up the dictionary and learning a new word in our own language can also be an effective tool in training the brain. That old adage of ‘learning something new every day’ is no myth when it comes to being a positive life choice!
If none of these float your cognitive boat then visit the app store and download a range of apps that will cater to all your brain training needs. There are so many to choose from that I can’t possibly list them all, so my advice would be to search for the most effective brain training apps available and go from there. Often those claiming to be free will attempt to charge you to ‘unlock’ further levels or upgrades, so it may be worth opting for one that is popular and has a one off charge.
Bullet points to remember
- Brain training helps with memory – our ability to store and recall new information is improved.
- Mental health is maintained – we can build a strong brain to slow down the ageing process and help to prevent serious illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Improve multi-tasking – a trained brain can adapt to and manage multiple stimuli far more easily and effectively.
- Stay focussed – daily brain training can help you to maintain focus and improve your performance.
- Emotional control – how we cope with our daily lives can be vastly improved when our working memory is at its best, keeping the brain well trained will be beneficial to our capability to control our emotions, making us more resistant to stress.
However you choose to do it I would strongly recommend incorporating a daily brain training session into your regular routine and keep your mind as strong as your body.
Online Distance Learning Courses in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
NLP was first introduced during the 1970’s and today remains a popular tool for initiating positive, personal change. One of the many benefits of NLP is that it helps us to learn. It also helps reduce anxiety, supports a balanced mood and helps you to get over bad habits.
Here at the School of Natural Health Sciences we offer a distance learning diploma course of 13 lessons that may well change your life and the way you perceive the world around you for ever. Anyone can benefit from the knowledge gained in this course, whether a professional therapist or an individual. Find out more on our NLP Course page.