The Webster Wellness theme for May is “Intellectual Wellness.” Throughout May, we’ll be sending out various posts and web links designed to promote intellectual wellness.
Intellectual wellness involves engaging the individual in creative and stimulating mental activities to expand their knowledge and skills and help them discover the potential for sharing their gifts with others. An intellectually well person (1) cherishes mental growth and stimulation, (2) is involved in intellectual and cultural activities, and(3) is engaged in the exploration of new ideas and understandings.
We’ll start with “brain training,” which is exactly what it sounds like! Like physical exercise, research shows that the real key to brain training is “novelty. ” Just as you need to change up your workouts, you also need to change up the way your brain processes information. In the area of brain training, this means that you want to push your brain to work in different ways and respond to new things.
According to the www.brainqo.com blog, “a fit brain is accustomed to be used in many different ways – it can interpret and create, imagine and analyze, make connections and break the pattern. It can think logically, creatively, linear, backwards and completely new, all at once and in the best combination for solving the problems that arise and the challenges you face. A fit body has the energy to run to the bus when needed. A fit brain finds solutions to everyday problems, remembers what you want to remember and keeps concentration levels up. A fit brain keeps itself healthy and strong for many years.” You can read more about the reasons for training your brain at http://www.brainqo.com/brain-training/reasons-training-brain/.
There are a variety of brain training websites and apps available. Below are two of the more popular/reputable web-based brain training sites:
1. The free online games site from AARP includes several popular games aimed at getting participants to think quickly and differently. They’re designed to be fun, but they certainly can challenge you!
2. If you’re more interested in a scientifically-based program, then perhaps the Cambridge Brain Sciences tests are more your speed. According to the website, the goal is to provide “a freely available web-based platform for members of the public and the wider scientific community to assess their cognitive function using rigorously tested and scientifically proven tests of memory, attention, reasoning and planning. The tests made available on the site have been used in scientific studies of brain function and cognition and have been described in many peer-reviewed scientific publications in leading academic journals.” You can play a few trial games at http://www.cambridgebrainsciences.com/. Register for a free account to access all of the games and monitor your progress.
Maybe you want to train your brain by yourself. Or, if you’re the competitive type, consider finding a brain training buddy and challenging him/her to see who improves the most by the end of the month.