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Last Updated on October 30, 2017

Your Brain is a Muscle, Make it Strong with “Lumosity” Today

Your Brain is a Muscle, Make it Strong with “Lumosity” Today

By now you have undoubtedly heard about how important it is to keep your brain healthy and active. In order to prevent issues as you age, such as Alzheimers, you should try to exercise your mind. This can be done through many different types of brain-training games, but unfortunately they can often be a bit boring or repetitive. For example, Sudoku or other puzzle games can be fun at first, but once you get the hang of them it can feel a bit robotic.

Some apps claim to be brain-training, but often focus on one specific goal such as focus or logical thinking. Plus, those apps tend to ignore progress reporting which can present challenges when trying to monitor any type of improvement.

Why You Should Care about Brain Health

When discussing mental fitness, your mind may conjure up memories of school exams or even IQ tests, but it’s actually more about your physical and emotional health. When your brain is healthy it’s easier for you to slow down, decompress and even boost a flagging memory [1].

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Now think about the way your mind and body are connected. Do you remember the last time you had a really great workout? Maybe you ran a mile or biked through your neighborhood. That physical activity increased your oxygen flowing up to your brain and triggered a response of released endorphins. These are the chemicals that make you feel happy. When you have a constant stream of endorphins, you tend to be a happier person and maintain a balanced lifestyle. Mental exercise is just as important! Brain games like those found in the Lumosity App can increase your ability to reason and solve problems.

Sometimes it can be hard to turn your brain off. Maybe after an especially stressful day you couldn’t wait to sleep, but despite how physically tired you were, you couldn’t stop thinking. In this instance, brain health and fitness is crucial. If you’re mentally fit enough to be able to visualize something peaceful, you can physically reduce tension in your body and mind. Lumosity can help you achieve that state faster.

The Right App for Brain-Training

Luminosity is an innovative app that excels where the other apps lack. The impressive amount of thought that went into this app was no coincidence. In fact, it was created by a team of real-life scientists and designers who wanted to explore new ways to challenge the brain while simultaneously pushing cognitive research forward.

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What Makes Lumosity So Different From Other Brain Training Apps

Over 85 million users already enjoy challenging their brains with cognitive games, and they’re never bored; you can access a new brain workout every day of the month. The creators of the app made sure the experience seems fun and not at all like a chore.

Lumosity’s scientists took common cognitive and neuropsychological tasks, along with some new challenges, and partnered with designers to they transform these tasks into fun games that challenge core cognitive skills. They accomplished this though game-like memory training, attention training and more all while monitoring and tracking progress.

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    Along with a training calendar (showing days you have played at least one game), users can also access a performance trend. This feature monitors performance from the previous four weeks and tells you how many points you are in either direction. Performance categories include speed, memory, attention and flexibility.

      This free app can be used by almost anyone, as it comes in English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish [2].

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      Don’t Wait and Start Your Training Now

      The app is available for Apple devices from the App Store. Not only is it free, but it’s easy to use and fun, too! What’s holding you back from having a healthier brain that gives you the ability to take charge of your life and also extend it? Try Lumosity today.

      Reference

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      Brian Lee

      Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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      Last Updated on September 20, 2018

      8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

      8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

      You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

      Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

      When you train your brain, you will:

      • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
      • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
      • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

      So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

      1. Work your memory

      Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

      When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

      If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

      The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

      Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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      Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

      What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

      For example, say you just met someone new:

      “Hi, my name is George”

      Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

      Got it? Good.

      2. Do something different repeatedly

      By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

      Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

      It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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      And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

      But how does this apply to your life right now?

      Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

      Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

      Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

      So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

      You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

      That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

      3. Learn something new

      It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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      For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

      Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

      You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

      4. Follow a brain training program

      The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

      5. Work your body

      You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

      Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

      Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

      Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

      6. Spend time with your loved ones

      If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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      If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

      I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

      7. Avoid crossword puzzles

      Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

      Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

      Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

      8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

      Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

      When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

      So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

      The bottom line

      Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

      Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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