There are many fun and challenging ways to improve brain fitness. The key is consistency and variety. Make sure you get plenty of exercise, sleep, and eat healthy foods to maintain a solid foundation. Just as physical exercise improves health and prevents disease in the body, brain exercise improves cognitive health and prevents brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's. The benefits of brain training include clearer and quicker thinking, memory improvement, as well as increased alertness and focus.
Research shows that one of the most influential factors of brain function is diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to be necessary for brain cell communication and are found in fatty fish, like salmon and nuts. Antioxidants from berries and green vegetables, such as kale and broccoli, keep your brain healthy and prevent cell damage from free radicals. Drinking plenty of water and maintaining a balanced diet will fuel your brain and keep you focused and energized.
Exercise is another foundational activity that can dramatically improve brain fitness. In one study, inactive adults began jogging two to three times a week for 12 weeks. The result was a 30-percent increase in memory and multitasking skills. Physical activity increases the flow of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to your brain, which improves memory, attention, and problem-solving skills. Taking a dance class is a great way to stimulate blood flow and use your brain to learn new moves.
Sleep is another critical aspect of brain health. Your brain is still active as it sleeps. Experts believe that the neurons, which are rapidly firing throughout the day, get a chance to recover and prepare for the next day's action. When you don't get enough sleep, the neurons can malfunction. Scientists know that sleep is very important to physical and mental health, but they are still learning about sleep's effect on brain fitness.
Curiosity is fundamental to improving your brain fitness. It is very easy to get caught up in the busy, day-to-day routines of the work week. Months and even years can pass by without much variety. Curiosity drives us to break away from routine and try something new. Learn a new language, write a novel, or plan a safari in Africa. Follow your curiosity, and it will lead you to a healthy, fit brain.
Reading is a great way to give your brain new information on a daily basis. Variety keeps the brain fresh and flexible. Whether you read classic novels, non-fiction, or blogs, a steady stream of new information is a fun and interesting way to improve your brain fitness.
Games are an engaging way to boost your brain fitness. There are many different games that can increase reaction time, improve memory, and sharpen communication skills. Playing certain games, like bridge, have been linked to preventing Alzheimer's disease.
Online courses are available for people who are looking for a ready-made brain fitness regimen. There are a variety of courses to suit your individual style. Most of these courses include brain games and assessments, and some even include diet and exercise help.
Meditation is a great exercise to boost brain fitness. Daily meditation will reduce stress and improve concentration. Massachusetts General Hospital conducted a study that showed that people who meditate experience growth in the cortex region of the brain, which is responsible for memory, language, and sensory processing.