Just as our bodies can be improved with exercise, our brain fitness can be enhanced by taking on new and challenging activities such as playing piano or chess, learning a language, practicing martial arts, dancing and even doing some computer-based workouts. In experiments comparing computer-based brain boosting exercises to other computer-based activities, brain exercises were found to improve attention and memory in people over age 60.
While it was initially thought that the brain was essentially “set” in structure by early childhood, a growing number of new studies show that our brains are changeable throughout our lifespan.“Neuroplasticity” is the term that describes the brain’s ability to restructure and reorganize neural pathways.According to The New England Journal of Medicine study, adults who engage frequently in mentally stimulating activities are 64 percent less likely to develop dementia than those who rarely do such activities.
Hop on the Internet and you will find a wealth of engaging games for your brain. Thinking games,memory games, problem solving, concentration, optical illusions, strategy, riddles, puzzles…even speed-reading and trivia.
Brain Fitness Programs
While Internet brain games are plentiful, Suduko is common, and Nintendo® has jumped on the $265 billion brain fitness industry bandwagon, there are also targeted, science-based products available which are intriguing and fascinating.
PositScience® offers auditory and visual brain training programs, in addition to a safe driving program, at positscience.com. The auditory and visual program prices are an investment at $395, but the company offers a 90-day money back guarantee. Three sample games available on the Web site help consumers get a feel for programs.
Lumos Labs, Inc. offers a full workout in 10 minutes, feedback, and tracking to improve memory and attention at lumosity.com. The brain fitness program is a subscription-based service ($14.95 a month) that requires an Internet connection. The company also offers a free two-week trial.
At sharpbrains.com, you can explore the “Top 50 Brain Teasers” and a variety of mind games. The Web site also offers the MindFit™ Brain Workout, a patented program that runs $149.
Remember, while computer-based and other mental exercises seem to be showing some results with regards to brain fitness, good cognitive health is achieved through a number of factors including physical exercise, good nutrition and stress management.