Table of Contents
Are you looking to boost your brain’s performance and unlock its full potential? Whether you’re seeking to improve memory, focus, productivity, or enhance your cognitive abilities, brain training can help. This article will explore science-backed techniques for improving brain function and share practical tips and tricks for optimal brain performance. Let’s Dive in.
We all know that it’s important to move our bodies often. But did you know that exercising your brain is just as important? Your brain needs regular activity to stay strong and healthy like your muscles. And like when you work out your body, the more you push your brain, the better it will work.
Our memory and brain power typically worsens as we age. As a result, we might need help remembering names or picking up new skills as quickly as we did when we were younger.
Still, there’s hope! Research has shown that brain training can help slow cognitive decline, improve memory, brain power, and learning, and even prevent dementia. But there is one catch: brain training needs to be done regularly to have long-lasting effects.1
The brain responds to training because it can change and grow. Neuroplasticity is the process by which nerve cells and grey matter in the brain change their structure and connections in response to outside stimuli. 2
This makes them work better. After a few weeks of consistent brain training, the new connections become permanent. This process is called “consolidation.” 3
To make this easy to understand: If you walk across a grass field once, it won’t move much and will quickly grow back. Likewise, this happens if you only train your brain once.
But if you walk that same path (brain training) every day, the grass will be flattened and crushed, and a permanent path will be made. This happens when you train your brain daily, leading to neuroplasticity and consolidation. It’s a simple case of “use it or lose it.”
So, How Do You Keep Your Brian Sharp?
The answer is consistent Brain training that can help slow the loss of brain power.
Cognitive decline is one of the things that older people worry about the most. It can manifest in many ways, like forgetfulness, trouble focusing, and slow thinking.
Brain training has been shown to help slow down the loss of brain function. For example, one study found that healthy older adults’ memory, processing speed, and executive function improved after four weeks of brain training. 4
In another study, adults with mild cognitive impairment who trained their brains with the Brain HQ website or app 5 for a year had better hand-eye coordination and attention. These studies show that brain training is an excellent way to keep your mind from worsening.
Brain Training Apps
With so many things to do, it’s no wonder many of us feel like we don’t have as much brain power as we used to. However, there are easy ways to give your brain a workout; you can download several apps that will help improve your memory, focus, and other mental skills.
- Brain HQ is an app for training your brain was made by a group of neuroscientists or scientists who study the brain.6 It is one of the few apps for brain training that doctors and psychologists recommend. The military also uses it to help elite soldiers think better. It helps them decide what to do (shoot or not), pays them more attention, and makes their brains work faster under pressure.7
- Lumosity 8 is one of the most well-known brain training apps. It has a variety of fun and challenging games that are meant to help people improve their memory and ability to solve problems. Unfortunately, its monthly subscription is expensive.
- Elevate 9, which has more than 40 writing, and memory-based games and activities, is another popular choice. Again, there is a free version and a paid one.
- Peak 10 is another app with games that help you improve your memory, focus, and mental agility. There is a free version, but you can pay for an upgrade if you want more games and stats to track your progress. You can find many more brain training apps online and on your mobile phone.
With so many great options available, there’s no excuse not to give your brain a workout! Just try out the free versions before you buy the paid ones. Also, it’s a good idea to read reviews because some apps, like Luminosity, have been known to make claims that aren’t true and also make it difficult to unsubscribe.11
Stop trying to Multi-task
Studies show it takes a lot of work to pay attention to more than one thing. Especially for older people, this is true. Paying attention to more than one thing simultaneously breaks up our short-term memory.
This can be seen when we look for something and need to remember what we were looking for in the first place. We must focus on one thing at a time instead of multi-tasking as we age.12
Eating a Healthy and Balanced Diet
Did you know that what you eat can affect your brain health? A healthy and balanced diet can provide the nutrients for optimal brain function and improve cognitive abilities. Some of the best foods for brain health include:
- Fatty fish – Rich in omega-3 fatty acids essential for brain health.
- Berries – High in antioxidants, which can protect the brain from damage.
- Leafy greens – Packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, which is important for cognitive function.
- Nuts and seeds – High in healthy fats, protein, and antioxidants, which support brain health.
- Dark chocolate – Contains flavonoids that have been shown to improve cognitive function.
Incorporating these brain-boosting foods into your diet can support your brain health and improve your cognitive function.
Get Enough Sleep
After all the learning, brain training, and dancing, getting enough sleep is important for your overall health and brain health. Sleep helps what you’ve learned stick in your long-term memory.16
When well-rested, you can think more clearly and focus better on learning and brain training. Aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
If you have trouble sleeping, there are tips online for good sleep habits that can help.
Always Keep learning
Three things can help us remember: learning new things, writing them down, and remembering them when needed. These three activities happen in different parts of our brains. As we age, our brains might change, making us remember things slower. But this only sometimes happens. People who learn a lot can keep their brains strong, like people who can keep their muscles strong. In addition, some studies show that we can learn better as we age.13
Learning new things and staying mentally active is important to keep your brain healthy. You can do this by continuing to work, volunteering, learning new skills, reading about unfamiliar topics, or playing games like chess. Learning a second language is also worthwhile, as speaking more than one language has been shown to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and improve memory. 14
Playing a musical instrument improves hand-eye coordination, long-term memory, and muscle memory, increasing the brain’s grey matter.15
Dancing is another fun activity that improves focus and memory while keeping your body healthy.
To sum it up, taking care of our brain is important for our overall health. Doing exercises to train our brain, learning new things, and doing activities that challenge our thinking can help us remember things better, focus more and solve problems more easily.
Also, getting enough sleep, being active, and having good habits can make our brains work even better. These easy tips can keep our brains healthy and strong and be our best as we age.
- Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease: What Do We Know? https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/preventing-alzheimers-disease-what-do-we-know
- What is Brain Plasticity? https://www.simplypsychology.org/brain-plasticity.html
- Modeling memory consolidation during post-training periods in cerebella vestibular learning https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1413798112
- Brain Training Game Improves Executive Functions and Processing Speed in the Elderly: A Randomized Controlled Trial https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0029676
- Science Team & Research Partners https://www.brainhq.com/world-class-science/science-team
- BrainHQ for the Military https://www.brainhq.com/partners/brainhq-for-the-military/
- Lumosity https://www.lumosity.com/en/
- Elevate https://elevateapp.com/
- Peak https://www.peak.net/
- Brain Game App Lumosity To Pay $2 Million Fine For ‘Deceptive Advertising’ https://time.com/4169123/lumosity-2-million-fine/
- UCSF Study on Multitasking Reveals Switching Glitch in Aging Brain https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2011/04/98360/ucsf-study-multitasking-reveals-switching-glitch-aging-brain
- The amazing fertility of the older mind https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20170828-the-amazing-fertility-of-the-older-mind
- Language learning makes the brain grow, a Swedish study suggests https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121008082953.htm
- Your Aging Brain Will Be in Better Shape If You’ve Taken Music Lessons https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/140103-music-lessons-brain-aging-cognitive-neuroscience
- Sleep, Learning, and Memory https://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep/learning-memory