The secret to living a long and healthy life is said to revolve around keeping healthy and active. In fact, a lot of importance is placed on improving physical fitness and maintaining good heart health. However, there is another facet of heath to consider- brain health.
As so much importance is placed on ensuring good physical fitness and heart health, the brain is often overlooked or worst still, viewed as something that cannot be maintained or even improved.
With life expectancy rates only increasing, the key to living longer lies in maintaining good overall health. Fortunately, exercising your brain is relatively easy. Thanks to advancements in modern technology, you can even train your brain from the comfort of your own home.
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Understanding brain health
While improving brain health has been known to be overlooked, members from every age group shouldn’t discount the importance of having a healthy brain. In fact, brain exercises can slow down the process of ageing, reducing instances of things like forgetfulness.
The notion of exercising a brain may seem strange, however, the science is convincing. In the human body, the ageing process starts to impact the brain around the age of 40. The brain’s ageing process is due to the loss of connective structures known as synapses.
This loss of connection typically occurs because these structures need to be used and also challenged in order to stay strong. Luckily, the process of connection loss can be slowed down and reversed by using your brain in different ways.
Using different facets of the brain activates synapses and their connections and increases neuroplasticity, which in most cases, helps the brain learn new information and explore different ways of thinking.
Therefore, by exercising your brain you can actively strengthen synapses and increase neuroplasticity. All of which help with things like memory, attention span and problem-solving.
How to exercise your brain
The idea of doing both physical and mental exercise may seem equally overwhelming and unappealing. Luckily, mental stimulation can take many forms, all of which are easy to perform.
For example, mental stimulation encompasses everything from performing meditation and learning a language to watching question and answer games shows and reading newspapers and books.
Good brain health can also be cultivated through means like ensuring that you get enough quality sleep each night. Another important factor of brain health involves learning to manage the signs and symptoms of stress and depression.
It’s also worth noting that exercising your brain can be fun, especially when you consider that it doesn’t need to be a solitary activity. Excellent stimulation can be achieved through playing thinking and reasoning games such as Chess or Scrabble or by assembling a puzzle, playing free bingo online can improve your cognitive skills too!
5 effective brain training apps
Another great way to train your brain is through specific brain training apps. The right apps are known to add real value to your life. Making mental stimulation from the comfort of your own home a very real possibility.
Used by millions of users around the world, Lumosity is essentially a mind-boosting app. Designed to feature 50 fun and challenging cognitive games, Lumosity improves memory, attention and problem-solving.
Lumosity has also been shown to improve processing speed and flexibility of thinking. Both are essential components when it comes to understanding information and working out solutions.
Offering the support of a qualified coach, Cogmed offers a range of programs to users. All of these programs work to improve memory in a meaningful way. The range of programs also ensures that each segment of mental stimulation training is engaging.
Developed by neuroscientists, Peak is designed to improve your memory, sharpen your problem-solving skills and develop your mental agility. You can track your progress and challenge yourself to hit new personal best scores.
4. Brain HQ
Created by a team of international neuroscientists, Brain HQ’s online brain training app is able to be personalised. This means that you can solve problems at a level of difficulty that is solely based on your results.
Designed to feature more than 40 games to improve cognitive skills, the Elevate brain training app can be customised in order to develop a training program that focuses on a specific set of skills.
Elevate also has the added bonus of providing performance tracking. This makes tracking the progress of memory, focus, processing speed, comprehension and math skills exponentially easier.
Using mental stimulation to stay sharp
As we age, there are a lot of things we lose control over. Thankfully, this doesn’t include our personal physical and mental health. This means that the power to age and still remain sharp is in our own hands.
While the idea of training your brain, along with your body may sound tiring, this can be a fun process. By engaging in different forms of mental stimulation like reading and brain training apps, fighting the worst parts of ageing and staying mentally sharp has never been easier.
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