Can Brain Training Reverse Aging ?
I think I may need some brain training! Some mornings it feels like my body gets out of bed, but my brain slept in. I’ve gotten dressed with my shirt on backwards, I’ve worn two different shoes to delver a presentation (in my defense they were very similar), and I’ve forgotten to take my phone with me –so many times, I can’t count. Not sure if it’s the aging process or just plain old forgetfulness!
Brain Training To Keep You Young
My father always told me that it’s important to keep your mind occupied and to do mental exercises to keep you sharp. He loved to play chess, do cryptograms and later sudoku to keep his mind sharp. (Now I’m a fan of cryptograms!) So when I came across a study this morning that proves that brain training can reduce the aging process, I thought to myself. Well now there’s empirical evidence to support what Dad knew intuitively.
Study Says Brain Training Helps
In the study from the University of Texas, a sample group of men and women from ages 56-71 participated in one hour of brain training exercises over a 12 week period. According to the article,
“. . . the study shows a more than 8% increase in brain blood flow, which significantly impacts cognitive performance and can help your brain stay young. A followup study a year later confirmed that the gains were maintained. That’s good news if you want to boost your mental muscle!”
Where do I sign up? What can I do!
You can train your brain at home with a few simple and fun exercises. My favorite is this one:
“Identify what you do by rote day after day and change it. That can mean taking a different route to work or school or changing your exercise routine (i.e., do the exercises in reverse order)” (Interestingly, this was also a tip from Hal Elrod who was a guest on my Smart Talk podcast. If you didn’t catch that interview, it’s all about practices that can help you be more successful.)
My birthday is this coming friday–I am in my fifth decade. According to the research, my brain is at it’s peak. I suppose it’s time purposefully add in regular brain exercises to keep my mind sharp. My daughters are entering a “24” contest (it’s a math challenge/game). Last night they tired to get me interested in solving them with them. They even loaded 24 app on my phone. Yesterday I told them they were on their own. When they come home today, I think I’ll do a few with them!
For details on this study and more brain training exercises, read 7 Ways to Exercise Your Brain – And Why You Really Need To!
Here’s another article, 5 Things You Can Do in Five Minutes to Train Your Brain that has a few more ideas.
What do you do to keep your brain trained and challenged?