Brain Fitness Games

Brain Fitness through games is now something we can do more effectively than ever before.

Most of us have always known that keeping some cognitive challenges in your head, and an interesting life were part of a healthy lifestyle and aging, but now research is indicating that specific brain skills, like memory, language, concentration, language, executive functions, and visual-spatial skills can be exercised.

And you can do some of those exercises right at your computer, and the brain fitness game will provide increasing challenge as you master levels, and track your progress.

I like the increased challenge best of all. I can have some confidence in the program generating something that benefits me, even if it is hard, rather than me just picking something I am curious about, which does not really challenge my neurons.

That is one of the things that Michael Merzenich talks about in his work. The challenge needs to be novel.

Most people think staying fit is just for their bodies. However, it is critical that we keep our brains working in top form. After all, it is our most important asset. Scientists now know more about the brain and the many things we can do to keep it healthy. Research is showing that we can reduce our risk of mental decline and debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer's. With aging comes change, usually associated with loss of ability or function. The great news is that just like our bodies, if we stretch and exercise our brain, we can keep it fit. Lifestyle is a key factor in determining brain health.

Lifestyle areas important to brain health:

Brain Fitness-there a both low tech and high tech tools available

Physical Activity-increases endorphins, which reduce antioxidants

Social Interaction-friendship

Healthy Diet-eat it as grown-fruits and vegies are key

Brain Fitness Games Research

In 2006, the ACTIVE Study, funded by National Institute of Health, demonstrated that older adults could improve their brain abilities with the correct training. Certain mental exercises can partially offset the expected decline in older adults' thinking skills and show promise for maintaining cognitive abilities needed to do everyday tasks. Some of the gains from training were seen to be beneficial 5 years later.

The Bronx Aging Study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, followed almost 500 people for more than 20 years. The research found that people who participated in mentally stimulating activities, such as interactive games and other leisure activities multiple times a week had a 65-75% better probability of remaining sharp than those who did not participate in these activities.

Another well-known study is the Nun Study. Scientists followed 700 nuns for more than 20 years. An interesting finding was that certain types of intellectual activity and stimulation could protect against many types of cognitive decline.

A study from Columbia University supports the concept of brain reserve and that education, occupation and stimulating leisure activities all reduce the potential risk of developing brain disease.

I am going to assume that you have your own low tech resources for brain fitness games, so here are a couple of high tech that I like, quick and powerful.

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Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro - Software that makes you smarter
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