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 entertain your mind. 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, 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 entertain your mind. 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!

Announcement: Rosetta Stone Acquires Fit Brains!

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BIG news today!  We are joining the Rosetta Stone family!

It has been announced today that Rosetta Stone has acquired Vivity Labs, Inc. (creator of Fit Brains’ successful portfolio of brain training products).  The close connection between language learning and brain training makes our company a natural strategic fit for Rosetta Stone, which is continuing its rapid expansion beyond language learning and into adjacent categories of technology-driven education.

The rapid expansion of the brain fitness category underscores a new public desire for maintaining and enhancing cognitive health. According to a 2012 study by SharpBrains, a research firm that tracks the sector, the market for brain health software grew from $295 million in annual revenues in 2009 to more than $480 million at the end of last year. Experts estimate that the market will exceed $3 billion by 2020. With the support of Rosetta Stone’s revered brand and global distribution network, we anticipate an exciting new phase of growth for Fit Brains!

We can’t wait to start working with Rosetta Stone & continue to build great brain training & educational products for you!

Read more about the acquisition by clicking here

Download Fit Brains apps by clicking here

Find out more about Rosetta Stone by clicking here

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 & challenge your brain!

Fit Brains Trainer

By playing Fit Brains for 5-10 minutes a day, you can stimulate 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!