Tag Archives: brain exercise

Brain Train Your Way to Better Performance: The FINGER Study

According to a recent study published in the journal The Lancet (March 2015) brain training, exercise, healthy eating and management of risk factors seems to maintain or improve cognitive function and delay cognitive decline.  The Finnish Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER) is the first of its’ kind, ground breaking trial to combat some of the key high risk factors for dementia (eg. Heart health, high BMI).

Method

1260 Finns aged 60-77 were randomly divided equally between the control group who were given general health tips and the intervention group.  The latter had regular meetings with healthcare professionals and were given comprehensive guidance on healthy eating, exercise programs, brain training and managing metabolic and vascular risk factors, for example, with regular blood exams.

Findings

After 2 years, the participants’ cognitive performance was assessed with a standard exam, the Neuropsychological Test Battery (NTB).  The overall scores for the intervention group were higher by 25%.  The remarkable results for certain sections of the exam, processing speed at 150% and executive functioning at 83% were even higher.  Executive function refers to the brain’s capacity to manage, plan and execute thought processes.

“Much previous research has shown that there are links between cognitive decline in older people and factors such as diet, heart health, and fitness. However, our study is the first large randomised controlled trial to show that an intensive program aimed at addressing these risk factors might be able to prevent cognitive decline in elderly people who are at risk of dementia.” Professor Kivipelto, lead Researcher – Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, and University of Eastern Finland

Train & Play with Fit Brains

Your brain is like a muscle, it can grow fitter and stronger with exercise. Train and play with Fit Brains. Fit Brains exercises help stimulate and sharpen your mind. Remember more, focus better and think faster. Do more every day. You can play Fit Brains on any web browser or train or train on-the-go with our IOS, Android or Amazon app!   

Play Fit Brains

Journal Reference

Tiia Ngandu, Jenni Lehtisalo, Alina Solomon, Esko Levälahti, Satu Ahtiluoto, Riitta Antikainen, Lars Bäckman, Tuomo Hänninen, Antti Jula, Tiina Laatikainen, Jaana Lindström, Francesca Mangialasche, Teemu Paajanen, Satu Pajala, Markku Peltonen, Rainer Rauramaa, Anna Stigsdotter-Neely, Timo Strandberg, Jaakko Tuomilehto, Hilkka Soininen, Miia Kivipelto. A 2 year multidomain intervention of diet, exercise, cognitive training, and vascular risk monitoring versus control to prevent cognitive decline in at-risk elderly people (FINGER): a randomised controlled trialThe Lancet, 2015; DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60461-5

10 Tips to Wake Up the Brain

10 Tips to Wake Up, Refresh, & Energize Your Brain

Bad News:
It’s Monday morning.
Coffee is not working.
Schedule for the day involves a lot of thinking, talking, and moving.

Good News:
Coffee is not the only solution to life’s problems.

Weekday mornings are never appealing to the brain. However, there are certain things you can do to ease the torturous time and effort to wake up, refresh, and energize your mind. Check out our tips below:

  1. Drink Water — Drink a glass of water immediately after you wake up to kick up your metabolism and de-fog your brain.
  2. Don’t “Snooze” — You’re setting yourself up to feel lazy & unmotivated throughout the day when you delay waking up and hit “snooze” multiple times in the morning. Pick a time that gives you enough sleep but also enough time to go through your morning routine without rushing, and wake up when your first alarm rings.
  3. Open the Blinds — Sunlight has a direct effect on the activity in our brains. When we deprive our brains of light, we will stay in a groggy, sleep-like state of consciousness. Bright light helps shift our brain waves to higher frequencies and triggers the release of brain-happy neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.
  4. Exercise in the Morning — The act of exercising in the morning might sound horrendous if you’ve never done it, but besides obvious health reasons, it’ll actually give you more energy throughout the whole day. Try sleeping in your workout clothes to lessen the chances of making excuses in the morning.
  5. Turn up the Music — Listen to some upbeat tunes as you get ready in the morning. Studies have shown that music is the one stimulus that lights up the entire brain on a PET scan. Music helps the brain release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate the brain’s pleasure and reward centres, as well as emotional responses and motivation. 
  6. Take a Cold Shower — No explanation needed. It’s horrible. But it works.
  7. Don’t treat Coffee like a “Drug” — On days you feel more energized, try to forego the coffee, or at least try cutting down the amount you drink everyday. If you absolutely need a pick-me-up, try drinking some brain-healthy green tea instead!
  8. Eat Breakfast — Take the phrase “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” seriously. Breakfast gives your brain vital nutrients that it needs in order to optimally carry out mental processes throughout the day. Think of it as fuel for your body, without it, you’ll run out of fumes! Try including some brain-healthy foods in your breakfast diet.
  9. Talk to Someone — Engage in some light chit-chat with a family member, friend, or co-worker in the morning. Even though you might not feel like it, taking the initiative to engage in a conversation really helps to get your mind & body out of a “zombie-like” state.
  10. Play Fit Brains — Prep your brain for a new day’s workload by spending a few minutes playing Fit Brains brain games. Fit Brains exercises help stimulate and sharpen your mental responses, and prime your mind to better focus on the tasks throughout the day. You can play Fit Brains on any web browser or train on-the-go with our iOS, Android, or Amazon app!

Fit Brains

Do YOU have any “wake-up” tips of your own? Share with us in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #wakeupbraintip!

Happy New Year from Fit Brains!

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It has been an amazing year of growth here at Fit Brains.  We went from 1 successful brain training app to a whole portfolio of brain training & health apps, reaching 5+ million users in 90+ countries, surpassing 60000+ ratings averaging 4.5 stars across all of our apps, and now at the end of the year, we just joined a great new company that will support our continuing rapid growth & expansion.

We wanted to wish you a Happy New Year & say thank you to all of our users & fans for brain training with Fit Brains products!

Having the honour of being selected in the App Store’s Best of 2013 is a great send-off to the new year!  Our original Fit Brains Trainer app has been selected in the App Store’s Best of 2013 in these categories & countries:

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2014 is going to be an even bigger year for Fit Brains, so we won’t talk much more now, as there will be many more new updates coming for our users very soon!  Thank you everyone again, stay updated with Fit Brains on this blog, Facebook, Twitter, & your Fit Brains emails, and have a happy New Year celebration!

NEW APP — Fit Brains: Memory Trainer — Download Now!

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Another new app has just been released!  Introducing Fit Brains: Memory Trainer, a specialized “Target Trainer” designed to improve your Memory, Recall, & Recognition abilities through a collection of fun brain games.

If you sometimes have trouble remembering details in life like memorizing numbers and lists or recognizing new faces, the Fit Brains: Memory Trainer app is for you!

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If you have been playing the original Fit Brains Trainer app, you’ll know the app targets different brain areas.  As each individual have selected areas where they need additional work on, we decided to create specific “Target Trainers” targeting each of the crucial brain areas.  We released the first Target Trainer a few days ago, the Fit Brains: Focus Trainer, which targets your Concentration skills.  Now this app will be targeting your Memory skills.

Fit Brains: Memory Trainer has 300+ unique training sessions and games.  Training is designed to improve the crucial areas of memory:

  • Visual Memory
  • Recognition
  • Face Recall
  • Delayed Recall
  • Free Recall

In all of our apps, the performance tools will allow you to track & improve your scores in different areas.  Best of all, if you’re logged into your Fit Brains account on your app, your scores & progress will be connected across all your Fit Brains apps!  This means you can improve your scores (including your overall brain score, your Fit Brains Index) by playing any of the Fit Brains apps!

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So what are you waiting for?  Download Fit Brains: Memory Trainer now!

Thank you very much for being a part of Fit Brains’ community, we hope you have been enjoying all the new & existing Fit Brains apps (check out the column on the right for all our current brain apps!).  We have many more brain games & health apps coming your way, so stay updated with us on FacebookTwitter, & this blog!

Happy brain training!

NEW APP — Fit Brains: Focus Trainer has been released!

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Do you ever have trouble paying attention or concentrating, whether at work or school, or even during the simplest tasks at home?  Most of us have room to improve when it comes to our focus skills, so we’re very excited to announce that we have released a brand new app today to help you with this!

Introducing Fit Brains: Focus Trainer, a specialized “Target Trainer” designed to improve your Attention & Concentration through a collection of fun brain games.

focuspromo1

If you have been playing the original Fit Brains Trainer app, you’ll know the app targets different brain areas.  As each individual have selected areas where they need additional work on, we decided to create specific “Target Trainers” targeting each of the crucial brain areas.  This app will be targeting your Focus & Concentration skills.

Fit Brains: Focus Trainer has 300+ unique training sessions and games.  Training is designed to improve the crucial areas of concentration:

  • Vigilance
  • Divided Attention
  • Mental Calculation
  • Visual Processing
  • Auditory (Listening) Processing

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Performance tools will allow you to track your performance in the different focus areas and improve your scores over time.  Best of all, if you’re logged into your Fit Brains account on your app, your scores & progress will be connected across all your Fit Brains apps!  This means you will have one main overall brain score (your Fit Brains Index) you can increase & improve by playing any of the Fit Brains apps!

So what are you waiting for?  Don’t get distracted, download Fit Brains: Focus Trainer now!

Thank you very much for being a part of Fit Brains’ community, we hope you have been enjoying all the new & existing Fit Brains apps (check out the column on the right for all our current brain apps!).  We have many more brain games & health apps coming your way, so stay updated with us on Facebook, Twitter, & this blog!

Happy brain training!

I keep forgetting names!

It is very common to be introduced to a new person, to hear their name, and to rapidly forget the person’s name. The question is why?

Is this experience a reflection of you having a poor memory? It actually might represent an attention problem. When we meet new people for the first time there is a tremendous amount of information being processed, outside factors that may be distracting, and each person is generally concerned about him or herself.

Word finding difficulty or the inability to derive a name that was just presented to you is not a sign of disease, but a probable indication that you can benefit from specific tips to remember the names.

As an example, when someone introduces himself or herself to you recite the name aloud and repeat it in every sentence you communicate to the person. This will facilitate a deeper encoding of the name initially which helps to store the information more permanently.

To learn more about Brain Health

Tin Man or Scarecrow?

Most everyone remembers the wonderful drama Wizard of Oz in which two of the characters, the Tin Man was searching for his heart and the Scarecrow for his brain. It is interesting to consider how cultures from the beginning of civilization have perceived the human body.

Egyptians buried their royalty after removing every organ from the body but the heart. Shakespeare and others have published classic writings on the heart and the emotions associated with this organ. Indeed, our social language has concluded that the heart is the epicenter of human existence and that our fundamental and deep emotions are housed and expressed there.

Stepping back from a deliberate and conscious consideration of this belief is a cold reality that the heart is a pump that perfuses blood throughout our system. The cold truth is that the heart never deserved to be considered the epicenter of anything! We do not feel, move, or think with the heart anymore than we do with the lungs or pancreas. Amazingly, our culture is so smitten with the heart that we even express ourselves in nonsensical ways such as “I love you with all my heart,” “you broke my heart,” the Steelers played their hearts out,” “the Heartbeat of America.” We even have a holiday dedicated to the heart called Valentines’ Day in which you will observe some (typically men) walking around with red boxes shaped like a heart!

While this is a bit fun we should pause and consider a serious fact that the human brain is the system that provides our emotional, motor, and cognitive abilities. Indeed, our brain is our epicenter and it defines our existence and interaction with the world around us. True the heart is critical for pumping the blood to the brain, but love, grief, laughter, fear, hope, mobility, memory, imagination, creativity, language and so much more are outcomes of the miracle that is our brain.

A basic understanding of this fact helps us to appreciate how wrong our thinking has been since the beginning of time. Fortunately, some of this foolish thinking has actually led to sound and effective policy regarding cardiac health (did you ever notice little red hearts next to foods in your grocery stores or on the menu?). We simply need to take an objective understanding of the facts on the human brain and how important it is to our very existence and begin to apply practice and policy that promotes the health and expansion of the human brain.

Maybe the brain will get its own holiday!!