Brain training 4 tips to keep your brain fit

Kristina is a studied communication expert. Licensed fitness instructor. She writes our fitness articles. Creates free workout plans.

Already done something for your mental fitness today? The saying "use it or lose it" applies not only to your muscles, but also to your brain! We show you the best way to stay mentally active.

What is brain jogging?

You exercise regularly to keep fit? Super! But besides your body, your brain also needs a workout to stay efficient. The term brain jogging stands for Exercises that keep your mind fit . Brain training is intended to improve your Train your memory and improve your concentration become.

You have to think about your Imagine your brain like a muscle. If you don't challenge it regularly, it atrophies. Study 1 from University College London found that the hippocampus of London cab drivers was more developed than that of other people. Why is that?

The hippocampus serves as a switch point between short and long term memory. Here, facts and events are transferred from short-term memory to long-term memory. London is a huge city with many streets. Cab drivers have to pass a demanding recruitment test, memorize street layouts and be able to navigate their way through the city. They use this knowledge every day in their work.

Although it has not yet been precisely researched whether the neurons of the cab drivers connect more with each other or whether even new cells are formed, one thing is certain – their hippocampus has a larger volume than that of the control group.

Conclusion: Brain training has an effect on the size of your brain. If you exercise regularly, you increase the volume of your hippocampus and improve your long-term memory.

We only use 10 percent of our brain – Is that true??

Your brain is a complex organ. It weighs between 1.5 and 2 kg, has approx. 86 billion brain cells, yet accounts for only 3 percent of your total body weight. Your thinking organ controls your movements, helps you make decisions, shapes your personality – to name just a few tasks.

But is it true that we only use 10 percent of it?? No! Your brain consists of different areas that have different functions. Depending on the situation or task, different brain regions are activated more than others. When you speak, your language center is active. When you touch something, a different region is involved accordingly. You use every area of your brain depending on the situation. The areas are also interconnected. Therefore, brain training should both thinking tasks and exercises based on physical activity should include.

Getting your brain in top shape with sport

Exercise has many benefits for your physical and mental health. Exercise stimulates blood flow. Provides oxygen to your thinking organ. But that's not all!

Studies 2 have shown that the following changes already take place after a workout:

Your dopamine and serotonin levels rise after a workout . Dopamine acts as a reward system after you overcome a challenge, and serotonin is a happy hormone that makes you feel good in general. Sequence: You get better mood!
– Thanks to training you can focus better. The prefrontal cortex is a part of the frontal lobe that. Is located at the front of your brain. Why it is important? This area is active when you need to make a decision, concentrate and pay attention. Exercise improves the function of the prefrontal cortex and makes you concentrate better. Your reaction time will be better thanks to training.

If you exercise regularly, you will benefit from these changes in the long term. It also has an effect after a long day at the office Exercise as a balance, reduces stress and literally clears your head! Physical activity activates the motor center, allowing your prefrontal cortex to rest.

In addition, exercise improves your memory ! Studies 3 have shown that regular workouts create new neurons and increase the volume of the hippocampus. Result: You can remember things better!

Brainfood – The right food for your brain

Your diet is an important factor when it comes to increasing your mental and cognitive abilities. Here's how Vitamins not only good for your immune system, but also protects your neurons . Vitamin B12 helps strengthen your nerves. Boosting concentration. You find B12 in dairy products like cheese, but also in eggs and fish.

Your thinking organ also consists to a large extent of fat. That's why it's important to include healthy fats in your diet. Omega-3 is a polyunsaturated fatty acid. Is essential for us humans. Your body can't produce omega-3 on its own, so it must be obtained through food.

Omega-3 helps maintain normal vision, heart and brain function. It is involved in the formation of new nerve cells and has an anti-inflammatory effect. You can find it in foods like salmon or walnuts, but also in vegetable oil.

Our tip: If you're having a hard time meeting your daily requirement of omega-3, or you're looking for a vegan alternative, try our omega-3 capsules. They are derived from algae, the natural source of omega-3s.

Also, remember to check in with enough fluid to provide for a good blood circulation of your thinking organ and to a balanced diet to pay attention. Get enough energy in the form of complex carbohydrates, proteins and fats to keep your cognitive performance at a high level.

4 tips for everyday life that keep your brain fit

Get enough sleep

This sounds like a pleasant task! Unfortunately, the importance of sleep is often underestimated. Too little sleep, or even poor quality sleep, is detrimental to your health and has been linked to diseases such as Alzheimer's, cardiovascular disease, and even diabetes.

Why you need sleep? Sleep is how you process your day. New information that is important is stored in long-term memory and unimportant information is forgotten. In addition, when you sleep, you become toxic-. get rid of waste products. If you don't sleep enough, it negatively affects your ability to learn and concentrate.

Learn new things

Challenge your brain with new tasks , so that it always stays active, learns new things and thus new neuronal connections are formed. The tasks should challenge you, but of course also be fun!

For example, you can Learn a new language, play a new musical instrument or another hobby Try. It's important to do something you've never done before. In addition, there are numerous brain training apps that keep you mentally fit with brain jogging exercises.

Social interactions

People are social beings. Regular interaction with others keeps you mentally fit and activates neurons. Even in childhood, social interactions are essential for healthy development – both mentally and physically.

The importance of social contacts does not diminish over the years. So leave your friendships leave traces in your brain . A study 4 found that gray matter in certain regions of the brain is better preserved in people who have a busy social life, even as they age, than in people who have few social contacts.

More movement in everyday life

brain training also works through exercise. Try to incorporate more activity into your daily routine. To engage your motor center on a regular basis. Coordination training is a good way to promote the interaction of sensory organs, your muscles and the peripheral as well as central nervous system.

Your central nervous system includes nerve structures located in your brain and spinal cord. This is where stimuli from your environment are processed. The peripheral nervous system refers to nerve tracts that lie outside the central nervous system. The sensation of pain, cold or even control of movements run through the peripheral nervous system. Information is transmitted to the central nervous system and vice versa.

Coordination training includes exercises that train your balance and reaction skills, among other things. You can practice your balance easily with one-legged exercises like the standing balance. Also, you can try to put yourself on the right foot. Extending your left leg forward. Then draw a figure eight in the air with your left leg for a few repetitions. Do not touch the floor while doing this. Then you change sides.

Why brain training is important in old age?

With age, cognitive ability declines. We become more forgetful. Our ability to learn deteriorates. This is due to the fact that over the years the number of nerve cells is reduced and the brain volume decreases. However, an active lifestyle can counteract this. These developments slow down. Since the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus are the most susceptible to diseases such as Alzheimer's or dementia, regular training is recommended. Exercise helps reduce the breakdown of neurons in these areas.

Memory training for seniors can include physical exertion as well as games that stimulate thinking and improve memory. Memo games can be used to train short-term memory. Quiz games or board games are also good for brain training with a fun factor. And that at any age!


– Brain training includes both mental tasks and physical activity – Workout has a positive effect on your memory, mood and ability to concentrate – Drinking enough water ensures good blood circulation to the brain – Omega-3 helps your body to form new nerve cells and has an anti-inflammatory effect – With age, cognitive abilities decline – Good sleep, social contacts and new hobbies keep you mentally fit

1 Eleanor A. Maguire, Katherine Woollett, Hugo J. Spiers (2006): London cab drivers and bus drivers: A structural MRI and neuropsychological analysis.

2 Basso Julia C.,Suzuki Wendy A. (2017): The Effects of Acute Exercise on Mood, Cognition, Neurophysiology, and Neurochemical Pathways: A Review.

3 Kirk I. Erickson, Michelle W. Voss, Ruchika Shaurya Prakash (2011): Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory.

4 Nora Bittner, Christiane Jockwitz, Thomas W. Muhleisen (2019): Combining lifestyle risks to disentangle brain structure and functional connectivity differences in older adults.

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