Tag Archives: brain fitness

NEW APP >> Fit Brains: Cognitive Assessment has been released!

Another new Fit Brains app has been released on the iTunes app store!

fit brains cognitive assessment app

Introducing Fit Brains: Cognitive Assessment — a FREE app to measure your brain performance levels & emotional functioning, complete with detailed feedback & improvement suggestions!

fit brains cognitive assessment app fit brains cognitive assessment app

Download this app if you would like to test your cognitive abilities in different areas of the brain.  After completing the test, you will receive a Cognitive Health Score with detailed feedback & suggestions on 7 brain skills:

  • Memory: Free Recall
  • Memory: Recognition
  • Problem Solving
  • Concentration
  • Reaction Time
  • Visuospatial
  • Memory: Delayed Recall

Fit Brains Cognitive Assessment app

Use the recommendations this app provides to improve your brain health, and train your brain to be stronger with our original Fit Brains Trainer app.  You can then re-take the assessment periodically to measure your improvements & compare your historical trends.

fit brains cognitive assessment app

What are you waiting for?  Click HERE to download the app NOW to test & skyrocket your brain power!

fit brains lifestyle assessment appIf you haven’t already, remember to also download our other brand new FREE app, Fit Brains: Lifestyle Assessment, to test & improve your lifestyle health choices.

We have many more updates & new products coming your way shortly, stay tuned by following blog, Facebook, and Twitter!

 

Socializing & Building Relationships for Brain Health

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Did you know socializing can boost your brain health?

Connecting with friends & family is one of the easiest ways to maintain a novel environment for our brains.  Friends & family provide opportunities to communicate, interact, and share experiences. They also provide the necessary motivation to stay mentally active and involved.

Socializing and sustaining a social network can seem difficult or daunting, but keeping in touch can be as easy as picking up your phone!  If you’re having trouble getting started, how about trying these 6 simple steps…

Your Game Plan for a Strong Social Network:

  1. Open your address book – Search your brain, book, or phone for your list of contacts.
  2. Pick your priorities – Categorize your contacts into 3 groups: Family & closest friends, Good friends, Casual acquaintances. 
  3. Make a plan to connect - Based on your priorities, determine some people you want to connect with weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly and mark reminders in your calendar.
  4. Follow through - Contact them in advance to schedule the get-togethers. If they’re not there, leave a message.
  5. Reschedule - If your friend or family member can’t make it, plan another day to reconnect.
  6. Meet & play Fit Brains together! - Once you meet, make sure you have something to do.  Playing Fit Brains is a great idea as you can have fun together & compare scores.  A little competition with your friends & family will also keep you motivated to continue to train & improve your brain!

Fit Brains Trainer

By playing Fit Brains for 5-10 minutes a day, you can quickly improve & easily prolong your brain health.  It’s probably the most fun & enjoyable exercise you will ever experience so take advantage of it!

We have some exciting plans coming up here at Fit Brains in the next few months that will certainly delight your brain, so stay tuned!

Fit Brains Trainer – App for Students!

Fit Brains Trainer

Did you know Fit Brains Trainer is also a very useful app and excellent tool for students?

High school, college, grad school students listen up:  Fit Brains Trainer can help you work out & train the crucial brain areas you use when you learn, study, and take exams!

The games you play will automatically adapt to your skill level and recommendations will be given based on your strengths & weaknesses.  You will be able to track your performance with tools & progress charts, and compare & compete with peers to improve your scores!  Most useful of all, you can target your training at different brain areas you know you need to improve.

Fit Brains for Students

All Fit Brains games are categorized into the 5 major brain areas of Memory, Speed, Concentration, Problem-Solving, and Visual.  Below are some tips to help you find out what brain area you should focus on:

  • Play Fit Brains Memory games if you need help remembering exam notes, remembering presentation speeches, and recalling what your professor taught in class,
  • Play Fit Brains Speed games if you constantly run out of time to write exams, if you want to answer questions faster when a professor calls on you, or if you want to improve your processing time and skill when reading textbooks.
  • Play Fit Brains Concentration games if you have a hard time focusing on studying, if you constantly fall asleep in class, or if your mind wanders around a lot when writing exams.
  • Play Fit Brains Problem-Solving games if you want to get better at noticing issues and problems, analysing information, and finding effective solutions in a timely manner.
  • Play Fit Brains Visual games if you need to improve on identifying differences visually.  These games are most useful for students that consistently need to look at highly visual details or images, and students that look at charts and fluctuating numbers on a daily basis.

What are you waiting for? Download the app now, ace your exams, & challenge your friends for the fittest brain!

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Helping Teachers Understand Brain and Behavior

I wrote a short piece many years ago describing my ideas of the school really being a brain health center. I also wrote about learning providing a type of “vaccine” for the brain to help fight off disease. I still believe in these ideas and over the past 10 years research has discovered findings on the human brain that support such speculation.

President Obama has initiated with politicians on both sides of the aisle a brain- mapping program that will allocate funds from the 2014 budget for exploration of the human brain. There is another legislative idea being promoted that will allocate money for educating our teachers about mental health and behavior in their students.

The latter is certainly guided by the recent school shooting tragedy, but such initiatives provide a wonderful opportunity for a basic foundational understanding of the human brain and behavior to be taught to all those who teach and work in our schools. Such an understanding can have a profound impact on teacher-student relations, teaching methodology, identification of potential behavioral risk factors, amelioration of problems before they escalate, and a deeper understanding of how environment can shape the brain.

I have had the great pleasure of working with many schools and districts across the United States teaching about the human brain and brining a “brain healthy culture” to the school. In essence, helping to turn the school into a Brain Health Environment. There are so many basic things we can do to facilitate such an environment and the students and teachers get motivated and excited by such innovation.

I hope to be more involved with schools across the United States and abroad to bring a basic understanding of the human brain and a brain health culture to the schools. It is important that we apply the research findings of the human brain to our classrooms and schools so that we not only can help in the area of mental illness, but that we nurture all brains to be the best they can be!

 

 

Stress Damaging to the Brain

Following up on my previous blog on the brain and the importance of keeping peace and harmony in the brain is a new study that indicates stress can cause damage to the brain.

Living a stressful life has been found to atrophy the cortex of the brain, the critical part that processes information consciously. Stress also can cause damage in areas of the brain the regulate emotion.

A lead researcher with Yale University observed 100 healthy participants using MRI scans while they answered questions about potentially traumatic life events, including the loss of loved one, job or home. The authors found a direct relationship between the experience of stressful life events and structural changes in the brain. This supports other research on chronic stress and structural changes and functional changes, particularly memory function in the brain.

Overall, the growing body of research on the impact of stress on the body and brain demands we all take time to care for ourselves and create periods of the day that are stress free.

Harmony Between Limbic System and Frontal Lobe

We all know that feeling when things seem in sync, in harmony, and we are at peace. You may have heard the phrase “I am one with the world” that humans use to describe such inner balance. What a great feeling that is.

Unfortunately, we tend to live a fair amount of our lives out of balance as we chase the next, often small priority, task in our day. We live our lives with a sense of worry and chronic anxiety. Our bodies communicate such worry to us in the form of migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, sleep disorder, irritability, ulcer and mood disorder.

The brain has two distinct, but integrated systems that facilitate such balance or imbalance. The first is known as the limbic system that provides our emotional being and serves as a type of “hot area of the brain.” This part of our brain can cause that inner sense of doom and gloom and set off the “fight or flight” reaction. It is called hot because of its emotionality that can also be impulsive and get us into some trouble in daily life.

The other brain region is the frontal lobe thought by some to be the cold analytic part of our being. This is the part of our being that helps to keep us socially graceful, rule abiding, and capable of conforming to civil order.

The goal in life is to balance these two regions, the hot limbic system with the cold analytic frontal lobe. Sometimes we are able to accomplish such a balance and integration and when this occurs we feel that inner sense of “oneness.” Crisis can integrate these regions quickly, which is why we tend to immediately prioritize those things that are most important in our lives and live in the moment during crisis. The goal needs to be to get to such integration without the crisis.

Some steps to consider include: (1) try to be in the moment and develop a consciousness about your inner balance; (2) are you approaching your day too emotional or too “hot” or are you “too cold” and overly analytic; (3) remind yourself of what is really important and what is not; (4) make an attempt to release those things that are not worthy of your energy or attention; (5) free up space and time in your life; (6) give things away; (7) be forgiving; (8) pray and meditate daily; (9) work on what your role and purpose is in life; (10) rely on love as the primary emotion and behavior.

These steps will set you on a path towards inner balance and to getting your limbic system happily integrated with your frontal lobe!

Words Sculpt the Brain

Neuroscience has underscored the importance of neural plasticity and this has unleashed an entire new way of thinking about the human brain. Indeed, we now know more about the brain than ever in our civilization, and most of the knowledge has been accrued in the past twenty years.

Plasticity enables a brain to be shaped by environmental input and it presumes a constantly reorganizing and malleable system. The brain is constantly being shaped, some for the positive and some for the negative. The good news is we have plenty of opportunity to make good decisions regarding how we want our brains to be shaped.

My brain health lifestyle ® promotes five major components to shaping the brain. These include physical activity, mental stimulation, nutrition, socialization, and spirituality. I have promoted an enriched environment filled with novel and complex stimuli as one that can shape the brain for the health.

I believe another major source of shaping or sculpting our brains is language. The spoken language and words themselves. Words are processed by the brain and interpreted for meaning. Such processing creates or leads to thought, emotion, and movement. I have written and spoken about the long-term effects words can have on a human brain and human being.

Consider for a moment some of the most important and wise statements or pieces of advice you have been given or you have read in your life. The very words made a lasting impression, perhaps emotional or cognitive, and literally sculpted your brain in a positive way. This is all neurophysiological and structural in nature, but it results in a behavioral or functional outcome. You might also recall an insult or a negative piece of feedback that affected you in a negative manner. The sculpting here is no less significant and carries with it the same potential for long-term effects.

Grandmother was correct and wise when she instructed to “not open our mouths unless we had something good to say”!

The messages we deliver in the form of words can carry a significant and long lasting effect. We can start and stop wars, start and stop relationships, help others succeed in life, and make others feel good about themselves.

Words, a pretty cool medicine indeed!