Train your brain to stay on track
The adage – use it or lose it – is often applied to the benefits of physical exercise, but exercising your brain is just as important. Brain fitness matters.
Research shows that taking part in more mentally stimulating activities is associated with better cognitive function, reduced cognitive decline and a reduced risk of developing dementia. A way to achieve this is through brain training exercises that keep the neural pathways balanced and teach the brain to focus on the task in front of it while avoiding distractions.
Your grey matter loves a challenge and brain training exercises can be fun!
The more you practice brain training, the stronger your brain will become. Mental activity should involve new learning, be reasonably complex, varied and practised frequently.
Introducing new experiences to your brain keeps it active. Other ways to boost brain power is to engage with others by maintaining an active social life, read books and magazines, learn a new hobby, play board games, chess or cards, or do jigsaws, crosswords or Sudoku puzzles.
Staying active physically is also important for brain health as the heart pumps more oxygen to the brain during exercise. Both physical and mental activity have important roles to play in health and wellbeing.
Excessive stress can also reduce memory capacity as well as cause adverse physical responses such a poor sleep. Stimulating your brain can help create a distraction from some of the causes of stress.
A recent US study showed seniors who received as few as 10 sessions of brain training showed long-lasting improvements in reasoning and speed of processing skills several years after the intervention.
Free brain training sessions are held regularly at the Kingsford Terrace retirement community at 260 Cliveden Ave, Corinda. Everyone is welcome to attend. The monthly sessions are conducted by Five Good Friends concierge and registered nurse, Saskia, in the village’s function room.
“Mental exercise can and should be an enjoyable part of life,’’ Saskia says. “But the exercises should involve new learning and be reasonably complex, varied and interesting, and engaged in frequently.
“There is now considerable interest in researching the role that mental exercise can play in reducing the risk of developing dementia. So please join me and the Kingsford Terrace residents and let’s get our brains exercising together.’’
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