Brain Training and Fitness Exercises

improve memoryThe more active you keep your brain, the more fit it will be for performing certain tasks. Just like we can keep our body healthy through exercises, brain fitness exercises are also there with the same aim – to keep your brain healthy and active. However, before you start jotting down some brain fitness exercises from here and there, you should have a proper idea about the concepts behind these fitness regime for your brain. So, here are some facts to help you in your endeavor:

  • Your brain grows better when you keep your focus on a single idea or item as the brain thinks through association.
  • Your brain gets very active when it finds varieties of exercises and activities. On the contrary, if you fall into the habit of regular patterns of work, your brain gets adjusted to it and tends to get sluggish.
  • Challenging your brain with new activities can really stimulate it and improve memory power as well.

Now that you are aware of some of the ways that your brain works or loves to work, creating and following brain fitness exercises becomes easier. Here are certain exercise ideas that you can try to keep your brain active and fit:

  • Speed Reading: This is one of the easiest and effective fitness exercises for the brain that you can try. Speed-reading helps in improving photographic memory and increase knowledge fast through building neural networks in the brain.
  • Color Recalling and Picture Visualization: This is a very effective brain training exercise. It helps in improving memory a lot. There can be several types of color recalling and picture visualization exercises, from which you can take your pick.
  • Playing with Words: When you are trying to improve your memory by training your brain to become more active, playing with words can be very helpful.
  • Physical Exercises for Brain: There are several brain training exercises and a physical exercise for the brain is one of them. You can, for instance, stare straight ahead and focus your eyes in front. Then without turning your head, you have to slowly roll your eyes fully by 360°.

Try to follow some of these exercises for a more active brain and memory power.

Music and the Brain Training Program

Music and the Brain TrainingThere are several ways that can help in stimulating the brain and increase memory power. Music and brain training has become one of these many options that are gaining much popularity these days. It has been seen that music can do wonders in making our brain more active and target memory improvement through the same. The fact that music helps in training our brain in a more channelized way to gain substantial results is now a proven truth. Here are the benefits of music:

  • Music helps in improving reading and literacy skills by enhancing brain activity.
  • Spatial-temporal reasoning faculty can also be improved through music.
  • It has been seen that children who suffer from attention deficit problem can do better in mathematical examination after listening to music.
  • Music and brain training also helps in gaining emotional intelligence.

Having known all these benefits, you must be wondering how exactly music helps in stimulating our brain. So, here are some facts that will give you a better insight:

  • There are music with particular rhythm pattern and beats that target the right and left parts of our brain. We can play this type of music to train those parts of our brain to achieve more. For instance, the music with 60 beats per minute pattern, created by Mozart or in baroque music, can actually stimulate the left and right parts of our brain.
  • When our brain is trained, it can process information better. It has also been seen that playing particular music instruments can activate both parts of the brain at the same time. This is an amazing effect of music and brain training.
  • Our recalling faculty can also be improved by training our brain through music. In fact, researchers have found that certain music act as great keys, which play important role in improving our recalling faculty.
  • Children who take music lessons from their childhood have shown greater capability in memorizing rather than other kids.

Music and brain training has come to the fore as a very convenient way of improving our memory, and is gaining more popularity with each passing day.

Strategies to Improve Memory

At some point of time in our lives, all of us have either tried or are still trying to employ strategies to improve memory. There are certain ways that you can depend on instead of trying the much-hyped medicines or other memory solutions available in the market.
There are generally four basic ways as mentioned below, which can help in overall memory improvement:

• Development of the mind

Just like we train our body through several exercises, we can train our mind too. The main objective is the same in both these cases – achieving fitness - both for the body and the mind. There are several areas where we can improve our mental fitness like imagination, awareness, and analytical skills. The more active our mind becomes, the more fit it is. Even an improvement in memory power is observed at the same time. You can even use various self-help books for improving your mental health and fitness.

• Conversion of information

It is generally harder to remember a chunk of information than remembering small bits of information. That is why if you convert a chunk of information into little bits using charts, diagrams or color-coding to make it attractive and interesting, it will help in remembering certain things easily. Taking the dullness away and converting the same piece of text into small, spicy ones helps a lot to memorize and improve memory.

• Memorizing techniques

There are several ways and exercises that you can follow to improve memory. One good way is to relate some dull information to something that appears to be interesting to you like color, music or funny facts.

• Power of recalling

Another great strategy for memory improvement is to guide and train your mind to recall things. Sometimes it happens that we really don’t forget anything, but fail to recall certain events. This is because most of us do not bring our conscious mind to full work. We should train our conscious mind to work more, which in turn will help to improve memory . For instance, you can start by recalling the day’s event just before you go to bed. Gradually, you can extend this exercise to other fields of life and improve memory.

Memory Improvement Exercises by Gianni Golfera

Improving the power of one’s memory is a dream that we all wish to achieve. Stories of photographic memory make us wonder what would make us attain that level of memory skill. This is where memory improvement exercises can come into play. These exercises may not turn you into a genius, but will surely increase your brain’s capability manifolds. The basic purpose behind these exercises is to keep your brain cells active, and thus in working condition. The more use your memory, the stronger will it become. Here are some exercises that you can employ:

  • Tease the Memory

In order to strengthen your memory, you can test its capabilities through memorizing small paragraphs or poems on a regular basis. There are two basic steps to this process, memorizing and recalling. Don’t lose heart if you miss key passages at first. Rather, go back to text and continue with the exercise.

Another way to do this is to memorize the names of interesting people and places that you may have come across while reading a book or a magazine. Now, try to remember them. Start with a smaller list. Later, as your memory improves, include more names.

  • Play

The list of memory improvement exercises also includes some games that are perfect for energizing the brain cells. Solving crossword puzzles or Soduku will stimulate your brain cells, especially those that you may not use day in your daily life.

  • Association

Our memory works best with those names, events, and numbers that have some sort of association. It happens quite often that we remember a particular name by associating it with some incident or action. Therefore, whenever you come across an unusual name or a long number, try to associate it with something familiar.

  • Creating Acronyms

Acronyms are easier to remember. It is a good idea to create acronyms of important definitions, or items. This is one of the most effective memory improvement exercises.

  • Rhyme Time

Memory improvement exercises can be fun. Take a name or number and weave your own creativity around it. Match it with other words that rhyme with it.

Do these memory improvement exercises on a daily basis, and you will soon get the desired results.

How to Improve Memory and ConcentrationRetention is an important part of memory, and successful retention depends a lot on concentration. The more we concentrate on an image or incident, the better chance it has of staying in our long-term memory. Thus, it is quite safe to say that the efficiency of memory depends a lot on our level of concentration. Therefore, we need to improve memory and concentration in order to live a better and more active life. There are quite a few ways of achieving this goal as follows:
Yoga
This is a type of exercise that can improve memory quite effectively. There are some specific ‘asanas’, or postures, which are specifically created for this purpose. Sirshashana is one such posture. It improves the oxygen circulation to our brain cells. Pranayamas or breathing techniques are also good for concentration. The positive impact of meditation on concentration is also well known. All you need to do is to pick a few of these asanas and pranayamas and practice them on a regular basis.

Focus
Keep your focus on one thing at a time. This will help you to concentrate on the thing in a more intense way. Lack of concentration will mean that the memory will be a fleeting one. The longer the concentration is, the prolonged the memory will be.

Repeat
It is important that you repeat quite often what you have memorized. The frequency of your recalling the information will help your memory in retaining it for a longer period. Repeat usage of data also helps the brain cells to stay alert.

Writing
Writing down new information will also assist your brain a lot. This action requires the brain to recall the stored data and present it.

No Distractions
While studying, you should make sure that there are no distractions in the vicinity. Loud music and noise can hamper concentration as well as memorization.

Rest
You cannot concentrate with a tired mind. Make sure that you get enough sleep and rest. Sleep will recharge your mind and body. Moreover, choose a time when your brain works the best. Many people find morning sessions to be quite productive, while some others may find evening or night to be more suitable. So, select your own time that’s conducive to learning and concentration.
In order to improve memory and concentration, it is important that you stick to these simple steps.

Memory Techniques for Kids

It is a well-known fact that kids generally learn faster than adults, which is why training their brains to improve their memory becomes easier. There are certain memorization techniques for kids, which can really help them in using their brain in a better way.
Here are certain memorization techniques that kids can follow:

  • Rhyming or Songs: It has been seen that our brain works better when we try to memorize something in association with something else like color, rhythm or music. This is truer in case of children. They can remember a piece of poem when taught in rhyme or through certain songs and music.
  • Visual aids: This is another technique, which has proved to be very useful in increasing the memory power in kids. It has been seen that some kids find it helpful to remember a word easily when they see it written on board or paper rather than simply hearing it. Even if we adults pay attention, we will find ourselves in the habit of visualizing the spelling of a word when we hear it for the first time. In some kids who have inclination towards photographic memory, visualization helps better in improving their memory.
  • Acronym: This is one of the several memorization techniques that kids can follow to boost their memory power. Acronyms are combination of letters where each letter stands for some words. By using this technique, they can remember a whole lot of words better.
  • Association: This is another type of visualization where you can train your kids to bring in their imagination. Ask your kid to associate certain objects in a funny way to remember them better rather than remembering each object separately. This association technique helps a lot as the brain can process information faster this way.
  • Chunking: This is a technique where your kids can break up a large piece of dull information into easy-to-remember chunks. You can also ask them to make these chunks interesting by associating them with color, rhythm or music, if possible.

While these are some of the basic memorization techniques for kids, there are several other ways to improve memory as well, which can be followed according to the personality type of a kid.

Before you practice any exercise to improve your memory, you should have a clear understanding of how the human memory works. Learning about how your short-term and long-term memory functions will help you select the right exercises to train both of them.

The short-term memory is also called the working memory. When you need to hold on to some information temporarily for completing a task, certain regions of your brain, especially the pre-frontal lobe, become very active. Remembering some digits as “carrying over” during a subtraction, holding onto the points of your persuasive argument during a debate when you are about to take the stage after another person finishes talking, or exploring several possible solutions in a game of chess etc are some examples where the prefrontal region of your brain is in charge.

A complex part of human memory is the long-term memory, where information from the short-term memory gets transferred through the hippocampus - a part of the cortex. The hippocampus is situated in the temporal lobe’s inner fold and resembles a seahorse’s curved tail in shape. Various sensory regions of the cortex decode the information, which then converges in the hippocampus. These chunks of information are then sent back to where they came from. In other words, you can call the hippocampus to be a sorting centre, where new sensations are compared with those recorded earlier.

The hippocampus plays an important role in improve memory as it also helps in creating association among the various properties of an object. Even when people use different mnemonic techniques to remember new facts or repeat data, they are actually passing the information several times through the hippocampus. Your hippocampus keeps strengthening such links among the new elements and after a while, a time is reached when it no longer needs to do the same. By then, the cortex has developed the power to connect these various properties itself and thus reconstruct what we know as memory.

Apart from the cortex and the hippocampus, there are many other brain structures that are involved in long-term human memory and its various manifestations in the brain. So, learning about the human memory before embarking on your mission to enhance your brain power surely pays.

If you want to increase the power of your brain, you can search for some free online brain training exercises. Many of these exercises come for free and can help you find interesting ways of enhancing your brain power. With the help of these exercises, you can not only increase your agility of thought, but also give a boost to your alertness and creativity. Remember – the health of your brain plays an important role in your quality of life, especially as you become older. So, here are some free online brain training exercises that you can use:

  • Memory recall: There are various recall games that primarily test your short-term memory. It may be matching cards of a deck having the same number that are placed at different locations, clicking on lighted spheres in the order that they appear etc. Since our short-term memory – often called the working memory, is the workbench of our consciousness, you can use the memory recall games to enhance it and enjoy an increased awareness of sensory input, thoughts and feelings that are experienced.
  • Puzzles and mind games: Many websites have lists of innovative and challenging puzzles, mind games, and other brain exercises. If you are looking for some free online brain training exercises, spend some time surfing the World Wide Web to locate the games that appeal to you and start playing them to exercise your brain.
  • Sudoku: This is yet another interesting game that’s based on number placement and relies on memory. To play this game, you will need to plan how to fill up the boxes using different digits. This planning will not only improve your concentration but also give a boost to your short term memory.
  • Compete with others: There are some free online brain training exercises that help you train your brain by competing against thousands of other people online. To get started, you may simply need to do a free registration at the site of your choice and start playing.

Though there is a wide repertoire of free online brain training exercises, those mentioned above are some that you can begin with.

How to Prevent Memory Loss by Gianni Golfera

memory lossMemory loss is a common phenomenon that happens with age. There are very few people who have not suffered from this frustrating part of aging. Moreover, presence of the Alzheimer’s disease and other kinds of dementia make people quite frightened. Though the fear may not be unfounded, every memory loss does not indicate Alzheimer’s. What’s more, once you know that you can really prevent memory loss, the fear lessens. Yes, you can retain normal memory by following some simple rules.

Exercise
Staying physically fit is the precondition of possessing a healthy mind. Our brain needs a regular supply of Oxygen, without which the brain cells tend to get weaker. Exercise makes sure that your whole body, including the brain, gets the required amount of Oxygen. In addition, daily work out will also keep your cardiovascular muscles in good condition. Joining a gym or taking up yoga classes are right steps to prevent memory loss.

Diet
What we eat has direct effect on our brain. Instead of filling your belly with junk food, you will do your brain a world of good by including fresh fruits, vegetables, and other antioxidants in your meals. Food items that have greater amount of Vitamin B are especially beneficial for the brain.

Sleep Tight

Getting adequate sleep is also necessary. Sleep helps the brain to rejuvenate. A tired brain can’t function properly. You need to give your brain those eight hours of sound sleep in case you want to prevent memory loss. If you have insomnia or any other sleep related diseases, consult a physician immediately.

Say NO to Smoking
If you want to prevent memory loss, you will have to stay away from cigarettes. Smoking can hamper the Oxygen flow to the brain by clogging the arteries. Help your body to help you.

Depression and Stress
Stress is responsible for cortisol hormone that can harm hippocampus, an important area in your brain. Depression is believed to be a nemesis of neurons.

Medications
There are a few medicines that can be detrimental for the brain cells. So, consult your physicians before popping any pills.

Pay heed to the above-mentioned rules, and you will be able to prevent memory loss.

If you want your kids to grow up into adults with enhanced brain power, you should get them accustomed to a wide variety of brain training exercises from their childhood. Since children can learn and re-shape their brains much faster than adults, it pays to make them understand the benefits of mental exercises. Here are some brain training exercises that you can use to train your kids:

  • Concentration games: Let your children get involved in puzzles or games that demand concentration. Finding the right Lego bricks to build a structure, writing down the list of ten everyday objects put up on a tray, matching pairs of playing cards by memorizing the location of each card etc are good ways of improving your kid’s brain power.
  • Games that teach association: Ask a few kids to sit in a circle. Let the first kid tell a sentence of a story, to which every other kid will go on adding his/her own sentence while repeating what the previous speakers have told. You can even alter the game rules to include items or alphabets that match the kids’ names or hobbies. This game not only improves the memory, but also encourages the children to hone their creativity by way of story-telling.
  • Chinese whispers: This is yet another game that tests the communication and memory skills of children. The first child in a group tells something to the neighbor in whispers, who then passes the same onto the next kid sitting beside him/her. It is usually seen that the last speaker often utters something that hardly matches the words of the first speaker, as each kid tends to add or subtract something or the other from the original message. Though this game doesn’t have any winner or loser, it is a good way of judging the memory and listening capacity of kids, not to mention testing their power of gossip!
  • Writing or drawing: Ask the children to complete a sentence or finish a half-done picture. Such creative brain training exercises encourage both sides of the brain to work together, thus developing the memory and brain power.
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