Train Your Brain to Be Younger

A new study shows that with the right kind of exercise, you can teach your brain to respond more efficiently — more like a younger brain.

That means faster problem solving and a higher level a mental sharpness.

Both good things.

The really good news is the kind of exercise I’m talking about isn’t the kind that will have you breaking a sweat.

Scientists divided a group of older individuals with normal cognitive function into three groups. One was a control group. One group exercised 150 minutes a week for 12 weeks. And the third group received cognitive training over the course of 12 weeks.

Cognitive training included exercises designed to teach you to sift through information to determine what is most relevant, to recognize less-than-obvious connections between ideas, and to come up with innovative approaches to problems.

Week over week, the cognitive training group showed faster neural activity, a sign of a younger, more energy-efficient brain.

Look, we all worry about those senior moments. But you don’t have to resign yourself to “normal” age-related cognitive decline.

You can take on some cognitive training of your own to keep your brain sharp… and even make it better.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Next time you see a commercial, try to come up with three innovative ways to compete with the product.
  • Start doing a daily Sudoku or crossword puzzle.
  • Go onto a news page and pick two headlines at random. See if you can come up with ways the two stories might be related.
  • Take some time to reflect on your achievements and what you would like to do next in life.
  • Start learning a new language.
  • Take up a hobby that requires some memorization and some coordination — ballroom dancing is a classic example of a fun, social activity that also is good for the brain.

You can learn more about the difference you’ll make in your cognitive function right here.