Healthy Brain Games
- Smartphone apps can actually help you increase your learning capacity, memory, concentration, processing speed and ability to produce myelin. There are 10 great ones below.
- Exercising the brain is just as important as exercising the body—at any age.
- Myelin is a material that covers your nerve fibers as you learn. The more you learn, the more myelin is accumulated.
Back in 1934, the U.S. Army Air Corps had a big problem. It had just lost a dozen pilots in a variety of plane accidents and was desperate to solve this problem. Thanks to Edwin Albert Link Jr.’s Link Trainer—an early flight simulator (aka “the Blue Box”)—our pilots could practice takeoffs, landings, deep dives and turns much more intensively than they could practice in the air. The Link Trainer not only reduced the risk of crashing, but also resulted in much better flying performance when the pilots finally did get into a plane. So by the time World War II began, the U.S. government owned about 10,000 Link Trainers. We didn’t know it at the time, but we were helping pilots with brain exercises.
In his book The Talent Code, author Daniel Coyle talks about myelin—the material that accumulates on nerve fibers as you learn. The more you learn, the more myelin is laid down. Think of your nerve fibers as copper wire and myelin as rubber insulation for those wires.
The more you involve those nerve fibers by engaging in a learning activity, the more easily and rapidly your skills pick up. Just like the Link Trainer helped pilots back in World War II.
Today there are a number of smartphone apps that allow us to do that same thing. If you’re a student trying to raise your GPA, an employee trying to improve your job performance or a senior trying to maintain your cognitive skills, well, you have help. Even Nadine Kaslow, Emory University professor and president of the American Psychological Association, has promoted smartphone apps as a way to improve cognitive skills. I’ve got a few here for your consideration:
- Lumosity has three games that improve memory, problem-solving skills and processing speed.
- Personal Zen trains your brain to be more positive.
- Happify trains your brain to be happier.
- CogniFit Brain Fitness improves your cognitive abilities, memory and concentration.
This article, Ten Best Apps to Boost Your Brain, has more. You know the importance of exercising your body regularly. Same goes for your brain.
Another good way to clear your head and remove clutter from your life is our third annual Spring Cleaning Barbecue, where you can shred your documents and recycle old electronics as well as donate other items to Goodwill. We’re co-hosting it with the accounting firm Weiss & Company on Saturday, May 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., right in in our parking lot. Save the date!
Until next time, enjoy.
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