Fun exercises to flex your brain

September 2010, Xtend-Life Expert

Summary

It's been widely acknowledged that keeping your brain ‘fit’ and active can be highly beneficial in helping reduce the risk of neuro-degenerative diseases.

Now we all know that you can't slide open your head, take out your brain and expect it to lift a few weights or complete a few laps around the block.

It's been widely acknowledged that keeping your brain ‘fit’ and active can be highly beneficial in helping reduce the risk of neuro-degenerative diseases.

Now we all know that you can't slide open your head, take out your brain and expect it to lift a few weights or complete a few laps around the block. However, we do know that performing thought-intensive activities boost neural activity in the brain... forming new neural connections and pathways to assimilate the new information being received.

Learning a new language may initially seem difficult but when you add up the potential benefits of developing this skill, you’ll quickly understand why it’s one of the best ways to keep your brain active. Besides opening new opportunities to communicate with people from a different country, culture or ethnic group and broadening your social skills and experiences... learning a new language stimulates both sides of the brain.

This means that the more parts of the brain that are involved in a learning process, the more the brain can use the new information... ultimately increasing its capacity to retain and process more data (yes, that includes your favorite memories – old and new).

Another fun activity that boosts brain function is learning to play a musical instrument. It doesn’t matter what you play – from the humble triangle to the complex French Horn – engaging your brain with a skill that involves physical movement in coordination with sound is a sure way to fire up those neurons.

Neuroscience expert, Professor William Klemm, explains this in more detail in his article titled - Music Training Helps Learning & Memory - Bless your kids with music education

The following excerpts sum up the reasons why playing a musical instrument can be so beneficial for the brain:

"Music training imposes a high working-memory load. That can be a good thing, in that it helps you expand your working memory capacity, and thus reduces the impairing effects on memory of working memory overload. Increasing working memory capacity also improves the ability to think, as manifest in IQ scores. Since musicians usually have greater working memory capacity, it doesn't mean they are smarter than anybody else. But it probably does mean they are smarter than they would be if they were not musicians."

"One study of children showed that fifteen months of intense music training induced structural changes in the primary auditory and primary motor areas. These structural changes were associated with improved auditory and motor skills, respectively. Other studies show children who are musically trained, compared with non-trained children, have a better vocabulary in their native language and a greater reading ability. Pre-sumably [sic], they would be better at learning other languages."

However, an active brain still requires the right nutrients to function at its very best. Total Balance and our Neuro-Natural range contain bio-active ingredients specially formulated to help fuel your brain and nervous system.

So why not broaden your horizons... order a bottle of Total Balance and Neuro-Natural General and either pick up an instrument and play your favorite tune or learn a new language of your choice. Better still, why not visit a country where the language is predominantly spoken to immerse yourself in the whole cultural experience... from the music to forming new friendships.

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