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Increase brain efficiency

Increase brain efficiency

Gomes-Osman, J. The Incdease study also found that a game of cards could Increase brain efficiency memory and thinking skills. Close Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School. The physical act of rewriting information can help imprint it onto your brain. Read this next.

Increase brain efficiency -

This in turn may help protect the brain from age-related degeneration. The brain is always active, even during sleep. However, certain activities can engage the brain in new ways, potentially leading to improvements in memory, cognitive function, or creativity.

Meditation generally involves focusing attention in a calm, controlled way. Meditating may have multiple benefits for both the brain and the body. Visualization involves forming a mental image to represent information.

The mental image may be in the form of pictures or animated scenes. A review notes that visualization helps people organize information and make appropriate decisions.

People can practice visualization in their day-to-day lives. For example, before going shopping, people can visualize how they will get to and from the grocery store, and imagine what they will buy when they get there.

The key is to imagine the scenes vividly and in as much detail as possible. Playing card games or board games can be a fun way to socialize or pass the time.

These activities may also be beneficial for the brain. A study found a link between playing games and a decreased risk of cognitive impairment in older adults. They are a simple and fun way to engage the brain and activate areas related to pattern recognition and recall.

Crossword puzzles are a popular activity that may stimulate the brain. An older study from notes that crossword puzzles may delay the onset of memory decline in people with preclinical dementia. Completing a jigsaw puzzle can be a good way to pass the time and may also benefit the brain.

A study found that puzzles activate many cognitive functions, including:. The study concluded that doing jigsaw puzzles regularly and throughout life may protect against the effects of brain aging.

Number puzzles, such as sudoku, can be a fun way to challenge the brain. They may also improve cognitive function in some people. A study of adults aged between 50 and 93 years found that those who practiced number puzzles more frequently tended to have better cognitive function.

A meta-analysis notes that chess and other cognitive leisure activities may lead to improvements in:. A review notes that some types of video games — such as action, puzzle, and strategy games — may lead to improvements in the following:. Enjoying company of friends may be a mentally engaging leisure activity and may help preserve cognitive function.

A study found that people with more frequent social contact were less likely to experience cognitive decline and dementia. A study of older adults found that learning a new and cognitively demanding skill, such as quilting or photography, enhanced memory function.

A simple way to increase vocabulary is to read a book or watch a TV program and note down any words that are unfamiliar. A person can then use a dictionary to look up the meaning of the word and think up ways to use the word in a sentence. A review notes that bilingualism increases and strengthens connectivity between different areas of the brain.

A study published in Brain Sciences found that listening to music a person enjoys engages and connects different parts of the brain.

The researchers propose that this may lead to improvements in cognitive function and overall well-being. According to a study , playing an instrument may benefit cognitive development in a young brain and help protect against cognitive impairment in an aging brain.

Such hobbies may include:. Regular physical exercise is beneficial for both the brain and the body. Authors of a review note that exercise improves the following aspects of brain health:.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC , exercise has beneficial effects on the following aspects of cognitive health:. Dance is a form of exercise that may also engage areas of the brain involved in rhythm and balance.

Certain sports are both physically and mentally demanding. Some require a range of cognitive skills, such as:. A review notes that elite athletes who participate in high demand sports tend to have improved attention and faster information processing speeds.

Tai chi is a form of physical exercise that involves gentle body movements, rhythmic breathing, and meditation. A study compared brain function and connectivity among tai chi practitioners and those who did not practice it.

The researchers found that the tai chi practitioners had enhanced connectivity between different regions of their brain. They proposed that this may improve cognition and decrease the rate of memory loss.

While not necessarily an active exercise, sleep is crucial for both the brain and the body. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke , most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night, although many people get less sleep than they need.

A review notes that sleep has been proven to:. As such, making sure to get enough sleep each night is an important step toward maintaining a healthy brain. Brain exercises can be as simple as actively engaging the brain in everyday tasks.

Others are targeted workouts for the brain, specifically designed to enhance memory, cognition, or creativity. Exercising the brain may help improve brain function and boost connectivity between the different areas.

This may help protect the brain from age-related degeneration. People are likely to differ in terms of the brain exercises they find most enjoyable.

It may be a good idea to try a range of brain-training activities at first and to stick with those that provide the most enjoyment or reward. Two days a week, Jandial himself practices intermittent fasting — where you eat normally for eight hours a day, from 9 a. for example, and then eat nothing except to drink water, coffee or plain tea for the other 16 hours — to boost his cognitive performance.

Going without food for 16 hours which can include the time you're sleeping , increases your brain's natural growth factors, he says, which essentially support the survival and growth of your brain's neurons.

The neurons are what allow information to be transmitted between areas of the brain and the rest of the body's nervous system. So if your neurons are healthy and operating at full capacity, information will be transmitted faster and more clearly, he says, meaning you will be more focused and be able to obtain and store information more easily, improving cognitive performance.

Other research from John Hopkins has also found that intermittent fasting may help your "brain ward off neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's while at the same improving memory and mood. Jandial says an easy trick to help get 16 hours is to skip breakfast which he actually does every day.

Though breakfast has been dubbed the most important meal of the day, he says there is no evidence to support that theory. He himself practices hour intermittent fasting on Mondays and Thursdays to do non-consecutive days , skipping both breakfast and lunch and eating all his daily calories for dinner.

He says while he sticks to the MIND diet which consists of whole foods like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts—as well as fish and some poultry for brain benefits, "it doesn't matter how much you eat or what you eat. However, Jandial suggests individuals consult with their own doctor before trying any fast.

Experts advise against some people, including the elderly, pregnant women and children, doing any type of fasting. And they caution there are risks with extreme fasts and fasting that lasts longer than 24 hours.

To calm the mind before heading into a stressful work or life situation, Jandial suggests doing five minutes of slow, deep breathing. Doing this "meditative breathing" two times a day will help calm the neurons in your brain, he says, which will also help your thoughts be "faster, quicker, and more original," and he adds that this is typically when a person's peak performance comes in.

Mindful breathing's brain-boosting powers are backed up by research: A study at the University of Oregon found that just 11 days of mindful breathing for an hour each day through a technique called integrative body-mind training IBMT "induces positive structural changes in brain connectivity by boosting efficiency in a part of the brain that helps a person regulate behavior in accordance with their goals.

BDNF is not a hormone like estrogen, it's a growth factor. It's like miracle grow for the flesh of the brain," he says. Your brain thrives off these growth factors, according to Jandial, because they help to maintain the health of the 90 billion neurons humans have in our skulls, which ultimately improves the electrical communications between them and therefore brain performance.

He says by being vertical, you are essentially giving yourself a brain drug like a nootropics without taking a pill or supplement. Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook. A performance-enhancing pill based on the gut bacteria of elite athletes is in the works.

Wfficiency the Mind Green tea hair growth Content Increase brain efficiency. We btain want a bigger, edficiency brain, effiicency In recent years, everything from harmless but mostly ineffective brain-training Increase brain efficiency to fanciful "real-time dream efficieency have become available to help us to achieve that goal. But there have been genuine developments in neuroscience that have enabled scientists to track physical changes in our brains, and their causes, ever more accurately. Some of this new research can be applied in the workplace, and it may help you to perform better, to lower your stress levels, to learn faster, and to feel healthier. Increase brain efficiency

Increase brain efficiency -

Studies show people who closely follow a Mediterranean diet are less likely to have Alzheimer's disease than people who don't follow the diet. Further research is needed to determine which parts of the diet help brain function the most.

However, we know that omega fatty acids found in extra-virgin olive oil and other healthy fats are vital for your cells to function correctly, appear to decrease your risk of coronary artery disease, increase mental focus and slow cognitive decline in older adults.

Your brain is similar to a muscle — you need to use it or lose it. There are many things that you can do to keep your brain in shape, such as doing crossword puzzles or Sudoku, reading, playing cards or putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Consider it cross-training your brain.

Incorporate different types of activities to increase the effectiveness. Most health care teams don't recommend the paid brain-training programs available.

These programs often overpromise results or focus on memorization skills that aren't useful in everyday life. Your brain can get just as good of a workout through reading or challenging yourself with puzzles.

Finally, don't watch too much TV, as that is a passive activity and does little to stimulate your brain. Social interaction helps ward off depression and stress , which can contribute to memory loss. Look for opportunities to connect with loved ones, friends and others , especially if you live alone.

Research links solitary confinement to brain atrophy, so remaining socially active may have the opposite effect and strengthen the health of your brain.

The health of your arteries and veins is important to your heart health but it is also critical for brain health. Get your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol checked regularly and take steps to keep your numbers within a normal range. Increase your physical activity, eat a Mediterranean diet and decrease your sodium consumption to lower blood pressure and cholesterol values.

Finally, tobacco and alcohol use are impactful on brain health as well, so only drink alcohol in moderation and don't smoke. Moderate drinking is defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.

Kelsey Kidd is a nurse practitioner in Neurology in Mankato , Minnesota. Skip to main content. Posted By. Kelsey Kidd, APRN, C. Topics in this Post. Here are six things I recommend to my patients in order of importance: 1. People who are anxious, depressed, sleep-deprived, or exhausted tend to score poorly on cognitive function tests.

Poor scores don't necessarily predict an increased risk of cognitive decline in old age, but good mental health and restful sleep are certainly important goals. Moderate to severe head injuries, even without diagnosed concussions, increase the risk of cognitive impairment.

Strong social ties have been associated with a lower risk of dementia, as well as lower blood pressure and longer life expectancy. As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content.

Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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May 13, Every brain changes with age, and mental function changes along with it. Get mental stimulation Through research with mice and humans, scientists have found that brainy activities stimulate new connections between nerve cells and may even help the brain generate new cells, developing neurological "plasticity" and building up a functional reserve that provides a hedge against future cell loss.

Get physical exercise Research shows that using your muscles also helps your mind. Improve your diet Good nutrition can help your mind as well as your body.

Improve your blood pressure High blood pressure in midlife increases the risk of cognitive decline in old age. Improve your blood sugar Diabetes is an important risk factor for dementia. Improve your cholesterol High levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol are associated with an increased the risk of dementia.

Consider low-dose aspirin Some observational studies suggest that low-dose aspirin may reduce the risk of dementia, especially vascular dementia. Avoid tobacco Avoid tobacco in all its forms. Don't abuse alcohol Excessive drinking is a major risk factor for dementia.

Care for your emotions People who are anxious, depressed, sleep-deprived, or exhausted tend to score poorly on cognitive function tests. Protect your head Moderate to severe head injuries, even without diagnosed concussions, increase the risk of cognitive impairment.

Build social networks Strong social ties have been associated with a lower risk of dementia, as well as lower blood pressure and longer life expectancy. Share This Page Share this page to Facebook Share this page to Twitter Share this page via Email.

Effiviency is research that supports braiin idea that brain effuciency exercises can brakn brain function. This blog Vegan-friendly clothing options explores Increase brain efficiency topic of brain optimization and offers strategies for optimizing your brain Increase brain efficiency achieve brzin performance. Brain optimization refers to the process of challenging the brain to develop optimal fundamental skills that are necessary for learning. With an optimal brain, your ability to perform mental activities is maximized. All of these strategies can be applied to almost anything, including careers, relationships, learning, and more. The two critical elements related to improving the human brain are neurogenesis and neuroplasticity. Neurogenesis refers to the creation of new brain cells while neuroplasticity indicates putting those new brain cells to good use.

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