Your brain workout can consist of any number of activities, couldn't it?
Walking, dancing, running, cycling, weight lifting, yoga, tai chi, chi gong, NY Times Crossword, finding your glasses, weight lifting, and also the brand new kinds of brain fitness software programs that exercise things like fluid intelligence and working memory.
Maybe you did not know you had those "muscles" in your brain.
You do, and modern day science is teaching us that we can do brain workouts.
Just as you train your bicep with weights or your balance on a balance bar, you can now train the neurons involved in various neuronal circuits with computer programs, which enhances neurogenesis and neuroplasticity, abilities of the human brain which were not known or understood just a few years ago the way they are known or understood today.
I became curious about the brain workout tools I was seeing late last year, and decided to try out some of them, based on my trust of their presentation.
The marketing of the brain workout programs is a blurring of the line between marketing and research as the creators of the programs in the case of Michael Merzenich Ph.D. for example, are also selling the product.
If there is a profit motive involved, the science and certainly the reporting of the science can be slanted to make money.
But I read some books, one called "The Brain That Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge, MD and another by Sharon Begley which indicated that there was real fire behind the smoke.
So I decided to try the Posit Science Brain Fitness Program, and I have had a very pleasant experience with it.
I have also tried the Lumosity program, and Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro, and Brain Builder by Advanced Brain Technologies.
I have not done puzzles or sudoku or cross words because I do suspect that those tools exercise neurons quite the way I want mine exercised.
As I continued my search for brain work out information, I discovered a number or resources, and the combination of them helped me to have more confidence in the sum total of what I was reading.
Brainfit for Life, by Simon Evans, Ph.D. and Paul Burghardt,Ph.D., neuroscientists from the University of Michigan, really helped me to feel more comfortable about what the marketers were saying, and I encourage you to study their work.
If you want Brainfit for Life go here.
Evans and Burghardt write with a wry sense of humor for the layperson about the pillars of brain fitness, one of which is exercise, perhaps the most important of all the pillars.
Physical exercise can be as unsophisticated or sophisticated as you want, so long as you do it.
The Posit Science folks have just released information about new research not yet published, which indicates that using their program makes some serious differences in brain function for senior citizens, in memory and attention, and this research was not done by them apparently. I use and enjoy the Posit Science tool, and I invite you to check it out below.
I also invite you to check out the Lumosity program as well. Lumosity is a bit more fun than the Posit Science program, and is easier for me to use as a brain brightener between tasks than the Posit Science model, which wants me to commit an hour at a time to a workout. But the Posit Science model brightens my hearing neurons so I can discriminate conversation from noisy background now like I could when I was a teen. (My brain is 60 now.) I think there is room for both kinds of workouts. I just keep the Lumosity program booted up and use it between task online when my attention begins to fade.
The last program that I recommend is Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro, which is based on research that really is exciting. Score on IQ tests go up with this one, and I know it made a huge difference in my ability to pay attention and stay on task. You need about 20 minutes per day to do this task, for 19 days, and then practice can be of the maintenance kind.
Want help understanding what all this means?
When I was beginning my personal growth journey, a wise person told me that when I was feeling resentful or afraid or sad, that I should remember the phrase "gratitude is the attitude" when I was ready to feel better. That phrase has helped me feel better tens of thousands of times.
Would you share what you are most grateful for? Your story could be just what another person is searching for to renew themselves? Thanks.