Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tighten + Tone Tuesday: Brain Workout with Special Guest Michelle Loch


Happy Tighten + Tone Tuesday! This week I'm so excited to share with you a 10 - Minute Brain Workout by special guest, Michelle Loch.  Michelle visits us all the way from Brisbane, Australia where my little sister now lives! Check out her tips on how to exercise your brain and the benefits of doing so below.  To learn more about Michelle, visit her on the web or connect with her through the links at the bottom of the page. 


Brain Training – 10 Minutes a Day

Being ‘Brain Fit’ is just as important as being physically fit.  Challenging yourself with mental exercises and new activities keeps your mind running on all cylinders.

There are so many studies now showing the short and long term benefits of brain training and keeping a fit brain – some studies suggest that brain fit people are 63% less likely to develop dementia.   And if you combine brain fitness with physical exercising and good nutrition, you can boost your brain power by up to 78%.

This is surely enough evidence for us to start paying attention and incorporating brain training into our health and wellbeing plans.

The density of your brain’s grey matter has an impact on how well you can make decisions, make good choices and exercise self-control – and these activities are essential if you are to stay focused on your physical fitness program.  Brain Training is a great way to get and stay brain fit.

In developing your brain training routine, consider the following:
  • Find ways to learn about how your brain works.  Having that knowledge helps you to control your brain, rather than it controlling you.
  • Aim to engage in 10 mins of brain training at least three times a week (though every day is a great goal to aim for)
  • Anytime you challenge yourself with anything new, you are, in essence, training your brain eg, 
  • Like physical exercise, choose activities that you enjoy
  • Variety is the key.  Investigate a number of exercises and create your own program that ensures different parts of your brain are being challenged each day.
  • Plan your week’s 10 minute trainings in advance

Sample weekly brain training program:

Day 1:  Practice a Stroop Test:



Day 2:  Have an ‘opposite day’.  Build new neural connections by putting your non-dominant hand into action.  Use it to perform daily tasks such as 
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Combing hair
  • Eating
  • Using your computer mouse
Notice whether it becomes easier over the day.  If it does, you are creating new neural networks in your brain!

Day 3:  Do this brain teaser:












Day 4:  Practice counting backward
  • Begin at 200 and count backward by 5 eg, 200, 195, 190…
  • Begin at 150 and count backward by 7 eg, 150, 143, 136…
  • Begin at 100 and count backward by 3 eg, 100, 97, 94…

Activities to investigate for developing your own program:

Online brain training

There are lots of online brain training programs, but these are worth a try…
  • lumosity.com
  • mybrainsolutions.com
  • brainmetrix.com
  • mindgames.com

Practice multi-tasking

Time yourself doing this activity:

Step 1:  Start the time and write the words ‘I am a great multi-tasker’
Step 2:  On the line below, write the numbers 1 – 20 eg, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7….19 20
Step 3:  Stop the timer
Step 4:  Repeat the exercise but instead alternate between the two lines, for example, write the letter ‘I’, then on the next line write the number ‘1’, then back to the first line write the letter ‘a’, then on the next line write the number 2 and so on.  Time yourself doing the entire exercise.  
Step 5:  Compare the times.  
Step 6:  Repeat the exercise every second day to see if you improve.

Practice memory techniques
  • www.memory-sports.com
  • http://www.wikihow.com/Remember-the-Order-of-the-Planets-in-Our-Solar-System
Brain games
  • Crosswords
  • Sudoku
  • Google a day – agoogleaday.com
  • http://www.prevention.com/brain-games
(though don’t just stick to one kind, engage in a variety and mix them up)




 
About Michelle:

Michelle Loch is a qualified and experienced Coach, Facilitator and HR Consultant with over 20 years of experience. She has trained leaders and executives across a variety of industries including Professional Services, Retail, Public Administration, Technology, Engineering, Mining, Real Estate, Education, Construction, Not-for profit and Finance.
 
Website: www.maxpotential.com.au 
E-mail: michelle@maxpotential.com.au    


Do you work out your brain? Share your thoughts or some brain exercises you enjoy by posting a comment below: