Tag Archives: brain

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!

Tips on How to Sleep Better

cute_sleeping_baby_1

One of the biggest boosts you can give your brain is a good night’s sleep.  Adequate sleep is vital to proper brain function.  Without it — our judgment, reaction time, memory and other brain functions may be impaired.  According to Dr. Mark Mahowald, a professor of neurology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, one night of lost sleep has the same impact in simulated driving tests as illegally high blood-alcohol levels.

Turn in early to give yourself 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night (this is considered average, though some people may need as few as 5 or as many as 10 hours.)  For many, falling asleep is a challenge.  Anxiety, stress, pain, interpersonal conflicts and medication all impact one’s ability to get a good night’s sleep.  Luckily, sleep is a learned behaviour and you can change it.

7 Suggestions to Improve Your Sleep

  1. Cut down on caffeine - Even if you don’t stop it completely, reducing makes a difference.
  2. Get more exercise - Walk daily, you will notice a difference immediately.
  3. Listen to a soothing CD before bed.  Or try white noise to create a background.
  4. Take a warm bath before bed.
  5. Maintain a regular schedule. Going to bed and getting up around the same time help you develop a rhythm that can make falling asleep easier.
  6. Spruce up your sleeping area. A comfortable mattress, comfortable bedding and blackout curtains can make a world of difference.
  7. Use the bed for sleep, not channel or Internet surfing.

Make sure you bookmark our blog & check back often for more health & lifestyle tips!  Also, remember to keep your brain sharp by training with Fit Brains!

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!

Meditation for Beginners

meditation

We are often so busy we feel there is no time to add meditation to our schedule. But 10-15 minutes of daily meditation actually gives you more time by calming your mind and increasing your focus.

Your brain can adapt to a chaotic world, but it will function more efficiently over a longer period if you provide moments of inward reflection and rest. Mediation offers an easy way to achieve this. Taking a few minutes to meditate can also help you overcome stress and become more positive, happy and peaceful.  Below are tips for beginners to learn how to breathe right and relax the muscles for meditation.

Breathing 101

  • Sit with your eyes partially closed and turn your attention to your breathing.
  • Breathe naturally, preferably through your nostrils, without trying to control your breath.meditation
  • Try to become aware of the sensation of your breath as it enters and leaves your nostrils. The sensation of your breath is your object of meditation so concentrate on this and nothing else.
  • At first, your mind will be very busy; you might even feel that the meditation is making your mind busier. In reality you are
    just becoming more aware of how busy your mind actually is.
  • Resist the temptation to follow different thoughts as they arise; remain focused on the sensation of the breath.
  • If your mind wanders and is following your thoughts, immediately return it to your breathing.
  • Repeat this as many times as necessary until your mind clears.

Muscle Relaxation 101

meditation

  • Squeeze your right hand into a fist as hard as you can.
  • Hold the fist and pay attention to how uncomfortable the tension is in your fist.
  • Now, slowly release your fingers extending them one by one.
  • Notice how the tension leaves your fingers.
  • Now try this with other parts of your body where you might feel stress.
  • Tense your shoulders, neck, forehead, stomach, and then slowly release.
  • At the end of the exercise you may notice that energy in the form of stress has left you and you feel better.

We hope this post has taught you how to easily incorporate a few minutes of meditation into your daily lives!  Make sure to check out the Fit Brains portfolio of apps when you are done relaxing and you’re ready to work out your brain!

RECIPE: Purple Monster Smoothie (snack drink for the brain)

 

A great snack that helps rejuvenate the brain after draining amounts of studying, work, chores, etc.!  Check out the Fit Brains collection of recipes, we will add new brain healthy recipes every couple of days so visit often!

Purple Monster Smoothie

Serves: 1

What you Need:

  • 2 frozen bananas, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup orange juice (or soy milk)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Putting it all Together:

  • Place bananas, blueberries and juice in a blender and puree.
  • Use honey and vanilla to taste and voila!

Enjoy! :)

6 Tips To Relax The Mind

Sometimes, the influx of work and daily to-dos are stressful for many of us.  Our brains will likely become exhausted on more than a few occasions so we need to remember how to relax the mind!

Here are 6 tips from the Fit Brains team to help you clear & calm the brain during those stressful days!

  1. Yoga / meditation – Practicing yoga or meditation will help relax the body, mind, and soul. Sign up for a trial yoga class, many community centers will offer the 1st class for free. You can also try meditating at home by sitting in a comfortable position, closing your eyes, clearing your mind, and thinking about one specific but stress-free thing for 10-30 minutes.
  2. Keep hydrated – Drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated and clean. Toxins can build up in the body if it is dehydrated, which will often clog up the mind.
  3. Listen to music – Listening to music you enjoy triggers natural endorphins in your brain, so take a break and listen to some soothing music that you love.
  4. Shut off your brain – Do something mindless and/or repetitive. Activities like easy chores or light exercises are good because they don’t require a lot of thinking. Good examples are swimming, folding laundry, going for a walk, doing the dishes.
  5. Eat right – Cut back on stimulating foods such as coffee, energy drinks, sodas, and candy. Also try to avoid processed & artificial foods. You are what you eat so you need to eat healthy to have a healthy mind!
  6. Treat yourself – Do something you love and know will lower your stress level. We have all been living in our bodies long enough to know the things we like to do that will help us relax. Sometimes all we need is a break! Take a nap, get a massage, melt away in a bubble bath…do whatever you need to do to recharge yourself!

While brain breaks are great once in a while, don’t forget to keep your mind active on a regular basis to maintain its optimal performance! The Fit Brains Trainer app is great for exercising the mind without any burden of stress.  If you have kids, they can develop their brain skills with our new Fit Brains for Kids app as well!

New App for Kids – Fit Brains: Sparky’s Adventures!

You asked for it, and now we delivered…

Our newest iOS brain training app for kids has launched!  Fit Brains: Sparky’s Adventures is now available for download on iPhones and iPads at the iTunes store.

Fit Brains: Sparky’s Adventures offers a first-of-its-kind approach to child learning and development. With a library of 200+ fun & healthy brain games designed for children ages 2 to 8, this app will stimulate the 5 key areas of your child’s brain and automatically adapts to the specific needs of your child.

Features:

  1. 200+ games for your child that are both fun and educational
  2. Each game stimulates & improves a key area of the brain: Memory, Concentration (Attention), Problem-Solving, Speed, Visual
  3. Automatic adjustment of game difficulty to match your child’s skill level and continuing growth
  4. Rewarded treats that can be added to the “playground” to keep your child engaged and motivated
  5. The “Parents Corner” offers detailed tools & charts tracking your child’s progress in different areas
  6. A “Fit Brains Age Index” to show which age group your child is performing the closest to

Benefits for your Child:

  • Stimulate brain processing
  • Develop critical thinking skills
  • Strengthen early cognitive performances
  • Increase memory/recall for learning
  • Deeper concentration & attention times
  • Enhance problem-solving
  • Improve visual learning
  • Decrease boredom & increase educational fun!

In the Media:

The original Fit Brains Trainer has been highly successful, used and praised by people all over the world.  However, we have gotten many requests for additional tools & products and we knew we had to start expanding our training to the entire family.  We saw the lack of a comprehensive brain trainer for young children, and heard from many of our fans that they wanted a Fit Brains app geared toward their kids.  It was here that Fit Brains: Sparky’s Adventures was born.

We hope this new app will bring education into playtime fun for your children.  Leave us a comment below and let us know your child’s experience with the app!