As we Americans live longer, we are increasingly looking to scientists like Fotuhi for guidance on how to keep our brains as fit as our bodies while we age. In a sense, research on cognitive decline is on the cutting edge. Researchers have conducted many of the most important studies in this field, just in the last 20 years. And while they have made some progress, there are several areas of this study where the jury is sill out.
Still, effective interventions that measurably improve the brain health, have emerged from the myriad old wives tales, about how we can keep our brain fit. In many cases, the answers may actually run against the grain of traditional wisdom. Indeed, the most-advertised, very best-marketed tricks for preventing cognitive decline may very well be great at making us better at those games, however, are they really making our minds sharper, are they really a good brain workout.
For now my friends, the experts say, we should focus on health interventions that are seemingly unrelated to the brain workout (exercising) frequently, by eating healthfully and doing what you can to take the edge off chronic stress. However, by challenging the brain to learn new things, will not hurt either. Some of our money seeking marketers have taken advantage of the consternation of America’s aging population to sell a large variety of products that imply-if not outright claim that they can slow or stave off cognitive decline. Brain workout games, a billion-dollar industry, according to neuroscience-market-research firm SharpBrains.
SharpBrains, represent perhaps the biggest example of this style of marketing. Which is why you would be forgiven for believing that by regularly visiting a brain-games website for a brain workout or downloading the right app, you’ll be on your way to fighting the inexorable decline of your mental functions. However, existing research suggests that’s miles from being true.
In fact, concrete proof about the benefits of these brain games is hard to come by, the experts say, when it comes to measurably improving aspects of mental fitness, such as having sound reasoning or a good memory. People would love to believe that you could do a brain workout like this and make your brain better, make your mind better, says Randall W Engle, who is the primary investigator at the Attention & Working Memory Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology. There is just no real solid evidence.
However, that’s not to say the brain games are without some benefit altogether. The experts say this kind of mental exercises can change your brain, just not in a way that necessarily slows its aging. Our brain changes with just about everything we do. including mental training exercises. But numerous studies have shown that brain games lack what the researchers call transfer. In other words, repeating a game over and over again teaches us how to play the game and get better at playing the game, but not necessarily much else.
It is like, you walk through fresh snow, you well leave a trace. If you walk the very same route again, the trace become deeper and deeper, says Ursula Staudinger, a professor of sociomedical sciences and a professor of psychology at the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center at Columblia University. The fact that structural changes occur (in our brain) does not imply that in general the brain has become more capable. It has become more capable of doing exactly the tasks it was practicing.
Still, the brain-game industry has continued to grow and the skepticism has grown right along with this kind of brain workout. More than 70 prominent brain scientists and psychologists signed a withering statement on this subject in 2014. The open letter, organized by the Stanford Center on Longevity and covered by media outlets around the world, argued that claims on behalf of brain games about improvement in cognition were frequently exaggerated and at many times misleading. These scientists also laid out criteria that the games would have to meet to persuade them of their merit for a brain workout.
Brain-game producers may one day develop effective methods for a brain workout for their users to improve their cognition by playing online games, however, until then, the scientists say, other practices will slow the aging of the brain. Infact, a study in the prestigious Lancet journal found that up to half of the cases of Alzheimer’s disease may very well be triggered by factors determined by lifestyle: high blood pressure, diabetes and cognitive inactivity, just to name a few. But your ability to influence your brain health goes beyond ceasing negative behaviors. There’s a whole host of practices associated with improved brain functioning that we can actually do now.
Most scientists well agree that the intervention most clearly proven to slow down the process of aging in the brain is aerobic exercise. Working out triggers a whole slew of processes and yes, changes in the brain. Perhaps, most obviously, exercise increases the size of the hippocampus, which is a part of the brain that plays a major role in memory storage. Participants in a highly cited 2011 study experienced 2% growth in the size of their hippocampus after completing a one-year exercise regimen that consisted of 40 to 45 minutes of aerobic exercises daily. Control-group participants, whose exercise consisted only of toning and stretching, actually saw the size of their hippocampus shrink by the end of this study.
We now know that physical activity does wonders in the brain for really making a burst of new neurons, Eli Puterman says, an assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. The question is how much exercise do you actually need? Puterman bases his research on the relationship between exercise and aging on the federal guidelines that adults need 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week. Many of the commonly recognized benefits of working out, well also improve brain health. As I have always explain, to all of you, working out helps with diabetes, obesity and heart problems, which are without a doubt, worth addressing in their own right-and which are also risk factors for cognitive decline. Working out the body, is also a brain workout.
May you be always in good health, humbly your Paul Earl.
10 thoughts on “BRAIN WORKOUT”
My dad will often say the brain is the centre if the body, and we should always take care of it because if the centre can no longer hold, things will fall apart. Here we are looking at how we can help the brain so it can be kept functioning in good condition. Exercise is just the best way to go with it and I totally agree with you. Some people go as far as using some supplements which I totally disagree with as some of these stuffs could have side effects to the user, so the best way to go about it is to exercise well and one will have a healthy brain. Best regards.
Good evening Chioe, so nice for you to come see us once again. Your dad was a very wise man, and you are absolutely correct some of those supplements that are on sale out there are very dangerous for you. This is one of the things that my team and I do, we research companies and their products. It is scientific evidence that back the fact that exercising helps the brain in a very big way to be healthy and alive. We thank you for visiting weightlifting for a beautiful world. If it’s anything that we can do for you please contact us. May you be always in good health, humbly yours Paul Earl.
Thank you for the useful information. I agree that we should work to improve our brain health.It’s quite interesting to use brain games to improve it, because I love playing games. Do you have any suggestion for good brain games in the app store? Thank you in advance for your suggestions 🙂
Good evening Alblue, the point is my friend, these so-called brain games, aren’t really doing anything at all for your brain, except learning how to play the game better. The gamer in reality, is not increasing the good health of your brain, that is the point. It is a illusion that the makers of these so call brain games are putting out to make money. However, by exercising, it is scientific proof that it helps your brain to be healthy. We thank you for visiting weightlifting for a beautiful world. If it’s anything we could ever do for you please reach out to us. Humbly yours, Paul Earl.
Thank you very much for this highly comprehensive and informative post, I think we really need to pay attention to topics like this in our society, funny how we pay due attention to our body and neglecting the brain, I can’t agree less with you that there are a lot misinformation out there about brain game. I think we really need to ease our brain off all this unnecessary stress and engage in the right brain workouts as you have rightly said. I will share this post with my friends they will surely find it helpful.
Good evening Charles, nice to see you again, and you are correct, we are all guilty at least the majority of us of not paying more attention to the good health of our brain, it is the engine of our body for crying out loud. And these money hungry companies that are making these video games and calling them brain workout games, as far as I’m concerned they’re committing a crime To Society itself. Yes indeed Charles by all means share this article with everyone, let us help wake up the world to this reality of what should be done for our brain. We thank you for visiting us, and we sincerely hope that you will visit weightlifting for a beautiful world once again, and as always if it’s anything that we can do for you please reach out to us. May you be always in good health, humbly yours Paul Earl.
This is a very nice article on Brain Workout and how to keep it in shape. I had never realized that physical exercises also have good effects on the workings of the brain. I have always tried to exercise my brain by just using it a lot: in work, solving puzzles/cryptograms, being drilled with questions by a friend going deeper and deeper into matters, always thinking what, why, how and keeping curious about things. I surely hope that will have trained my brain as well? And if I had not done this, would exercise (I did a lot of sports) alone have been enough to keep my brain fit? Can this prevent me from getting Alzheimer’s?
Good evening Jerry, I’m sure the crossword puzzles and other things that you have been doing, and the exercise you’re doing, are definitely helping your brain to stay fit, it is my understanding from the deep research that my team and I have done by exercising and eating the proper Foods it can definitely prevent you from having Alzheimer. By the way I had no idea that exercising was helping my brain until we did the research, it is amazing and I’m telling you something here, it all makes sense to me. My mind is as sharp as any 25 year old, and I am 68. I’m also a lot stronger and healthier than most 25 year olds, point being is, I give all the credit to exercising. We thank you Jerry for visiting us and if it’s anything that weightlifting for a beautiful world can do for you please reach out to us. May you be always in good health, humbly yours Paul Earl.
This was an interesting read! While I have to believe that brain games/puzzles would help exercise our brain, I’m surprised there’s really no evidence to support that. From experience, though, I have to believe there’s something to it. My thoughts are also led to one of my grandmothers, who, when she quit working, lost all sense of social engagement. Her memory and motor skills declined immeasurably. Perhaps it’s just because she stopped working, but she also used to work on crossword puzzles and word searches. I noticed when she stopped doing those activities and instead began watching the television, her lifestyle decreased dramatically. I gained a new perspective from this post. Thank you for researching it! Cheers!
Good evening Happier, very nice to see you again, the same thing happened with my mother I thought I was doing her a favor. I moved her in my home and I wouldn’t let her work anymore, I wanted to do everything for her because I loved her so much, however after she stopped working and not cooking and cleaning everything she went downhill and she went down bad. With all the research that I have done and the understanding that I have gathered, it shows me that exercising, keeping your body moving keeping your mind engaged with activities each and every day is one of the secrets of staying young. You’re exercising that body and you’re exercising that mind, that brain, these are the things that are important so you can live a long healthy quality life. I am extremely happy that you found this article to be useful and intriguing. We thank you once again for visiting us, and as always if it’s anything at all that we can do for you please reach out to us. May you be always in good health, humbly yours Paul Earl.