Fun Activities that Can Help Improve and Maintain Brain Function

The human brain thrives on trying new things.

There is such a thing as too much information, and the velocity with which we receive all these messages daily has an impact, not only on the quality of our attention, but also our ability to integrate and retain the important things.

While it is commonly understood that we must take care of our bodies, it’s a relatively new idea that we must also maintain our mental facilities. Here’s an analogy for you to consider: all the different parts of the brain that handle their own unique set of functions are like individual muscles; if you don’t flex them, they don’t stay strong. However, if you use them regularly, you can help them to work optimally and more harmonically.

Ironically, some physical activities can also make a significant difference in training our brains as well. Yoga, for example, has been shown to improve tissue retention in the prefrontal cortex that thins as a result of aging. The prefrontal lobe is the decision-making part of the brain. Additionally, the hippocampus, which manages memory, actually increases with just 30 minutes of yoga a day.1

But with modern technology at the core of so much of what we do these days, it’s easy to overlook more traditional proven practices, like yoga, that don’t necessarily require you to have a device in your hand. For example, it is not an accident that as far back as ancient Greece, part of a classical education included perfecting the alphabetical characters. Neuroscientists have observed that it not only develops hand eye coordination, it also plays a big role in thinking itself. In recent years, there was a trend away from teaching cursive in the schools since technology had moved so much written communication over to text. But we now know, based on recent studies, how crucial handwriting is to associative thinking. Linking letters together actually teaches us how to link thoughts together.2

Another tried and true way to maintain brain power is with meditation. The preconceived notion that we have to sit in lotus on a mountaintop is giving way to simple, achievable mindfulness techniques used in pain management therapy, behavioral health, prisons and PTSD patients. It can be as basic as slowly and consciously peeling a tangerine, or just bringing awareness to different parts of the body. The objective is not to stop the mind, it is to slow down the mind in order to direct it more effectively.3

However, you shouldn’t necessarily put away your tech devices for too long as you consider different options for mind wellness. These days, there are apps for just about everything, and this important area is no exception. For example, BBG Entertainment’s Einstein* Brain Trainer was developed with the help of Japanese neuroscientist Dr. Kawashima, and features 30 brain stimulating exercises that provide a perfect way to get your grey matter moving.

Einstein Brain Training offers a little something beneficial for the whole family to enjoy at home, or to even play with your friends. The famous Albert Einstein will accompany you with advice, explaining which parts of your brain will be activated throughout the course of the training.

Einstein and his little assistant Robo will support you through all aspects of the game. They will be at your side whenever you need them, explaining the different exercises and illustrating the scientific background of each exercise. They will motivate you to keep moving and to care about your mental fitness.

So whichever avenue you may choose to maintain your brain’s agility- something a bit more traditional or something a little more modern, maybe the best option is a healthy combination of both. It’s reassuring to now know that with an app like Einstein Brain Training, there’s an easy and effective way to light the spark of intelligence for a sharper mind.

Now enabled for 2 in 1 devices powered by Intel® Core™ M processors, Einstein Brain Trainer can be downloaded at: http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/app/einstein-brain-trainer-hd/87b84c88-0238-4552-bcd7-50f5b9762d36.

References:

1. Scientific American Yogis: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-yoga-changes-the-brain/
2. New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/03/science/whats-lost-as-handwriting-fades.html?_r=0
3. Buffer social app: https://blog.bufferapp.com/6-research-tested-ways-to-improve-your-memory

Additional:

NCBI: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3768219/

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