We are a nation obsessed with training our bodies, spending $8.5 billion a year on gym memberships, sports equipment and fitness activities. But how many of us train our brains?
Brain training, whilst commonly associated with long term benefits such as decreasing the risks of developing dementia and improving cognitive function as we age, brain training also has many short term benefits such as sharper listening, faster thinking and quicker reactions.
"Brain training is simply using different areas of the brain that would otherwise be left dormant."
To train your brain complete a range of tasks in games, apps or other forms of brain teasing fun. We recommend:
Apps: Try apps such as Lumositywhich includes mini games and tracks your progress, Cognito which has quizzes, memory tests and helpful hints, or Peak which challenges users with intense workouts and tests focus, memory and problem solving. Studies into the effect of Apps and technological speed training show they help to maintain cognitive memory and function
Games: Buy a sudoku puzzle for your next commute - suduko encourages you to think logically about how to place numbers in boxes within a grid, or complete the daily crossword in your paper. Crossword puzzles can also help to reduce stress through engaging the mind and keeping the focus away from life's worries.
What about video games? Whilst often associated with negative outcomes, researchers are now telling us that evidence is mounting and video game playing can be beneficial for the brain. Just abide by the 'anything in moderation' rule as opposed to staying up all night gaming.
Take home message: Read, study, learn, problem solve and train your brain for a better mind in the long-term.