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For a long time, it was argued by many that when it came to brains and memory, we were pretty much stuck with the abilities we had from birth. However, growing evidence suggests that improving memory is a definite possibility. All you have to do is to train your memory using any of the numerous memory training gadgets and tools on the market today.
Brain Training Games
In recent years, brain training games have gotten a lot of attention, and in the process have created a lucrative industry. For instance, Nintendo has released brain training games under its “edutainment” program. Nintendo’s games include Brain Training, a game that was developed by Japanese neuroscientist Dr. Ryuta Kawashima. However, this game is only available to owners of the Nintendo DS game console. What this basically means is that in order to utilize Nintendo’s brain training games, you have to purchase both the game console and the game itself. Needless to say, these costs can add up to hundreds of dollars.
Memory Training Software
The good news is that there is an alternative to Nintendo’s brain training games. You can simply purchase memory improvement software and install it on your home computer. This way you won’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a game console as well. The best thing about memory software is that it comes with lots and lots of different games. The games also target different aspects of memory, including your sense of direction and visual memory. This means that purchasing memory software can be much cheaper in the long run when compared to purchasing a game console and several different games.
Many people spend a few minutes (or hours) filling out crossword puzzles in the paper in an attempt to improve memory each day on their morning commute. Today, there are also puzzle cards which come in a pack of 50, and these are even more convenient while traveling. The cards often include probability questions and letter sequences where you are expected to guess the next letter in the sequence. The main drawback of these cards is that sooner or later you will know the answer to every puzzle. When this happens, the puzzle will cease to challenge your mind and thus it will no longer be helpful to you and your memory training routine. In order to keep up the challenge fresh, you’ll have to purchase a new set of cards every time you master the old one.
As people get older, they often begin to look for methods of improving memory. This is because aging brings with it memory lapses which cause you to forget important dates and information. Memory lapses usually indicate that the brain cells aren’t performing optimally and may mean that some of the neurons within the brain are damaged. Such damage and memory loss is frequently caused or made worse by certain bad habits. If you recognize yourself in any of the descriptions below, make a point to change your habits for the better now to ensure that you don’t suffer from memory loss later.
• Poor Diet
Proper diet plays a major role in improving memory as well as overall health. While poor food choices have long been known to cause health issues, there’s growing evidence that they can also cause memory problems Research shows that consuming fatty foods causes a decline in cognitive function; this is in addition to weight gain and heart disease. However, this isn’t to say that all fats are bad for the memory. In fact, fatty acids such as Oleic Fatty Acids and Omega-3 Fatty Acids can safeguard your brain against the effects of old age.
Similarly, a 2008 study1 that was conducted by the psychology department of Tufts University revealed that low-carb diets are bad for your memory. This is because our brain cells require glucose in order to function optimally. When you reduce your carbohydrate intake, your body is unable to supply your brain with the required amount of glucose.
It is important to be careful about what you eat. Avoid fatty foods and low-carb diets and ensure that you eat a nutrient-rich diet.
Smoking is one of the leading causes of neuron damage and Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, several studies have found a link between smoking and brain cell death. Nicotine and the other 42 carcinogens present in most cigarettes are responsible for the death of brain cells, which ultimately results in poor memory.
You probably already know that alcohol in excess causes blackouts; most people do not remember anything after a night of drinking. What you may not know is that alcohol intake also increases the risk of dementia and other memory problems.
• Lack of exercise
Exercise is important for your brain’s health. In fact, a study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences shows that regular exercise can prevent memory loss in old age.2 This is because exercise alters the volume of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is responsible for memory formation.
In addition, memory training and mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise. Mental exercises such as those performed using memory training software help to keep your memory alert while at the same time improving concentration. It is never too late to begin exercising your brain; you can begin training your memory at any time regardless of your age.
Several video game and software manufacturers have released memory improvement games that are aimed at improving memory and cognitive function. However, as with any other product that’s being advertised, it’s only natural to wonder if the advertised claims are true, and whether these games actually work. The short answer is “yes” – memory training through games does work.
The human brain works in a somewhat complicated manner, but at its simplest terms, it comes down to this: you either use it or lose it. For instance, if you go for a long time without practicing your addition skills, the next time you attempt to add figures, it will seem much harder. The principle behind memory games is that if you keep your brain active, recalling information will be easy. Performing everyday tasks doesn’t keep your brain active because only a few parts of your brain are strengthened. For instance, being a cab driver mainly exercises the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that is responsible for sense of direction.
Research shows that memory games have the ability to delay memory loss even in old age. This is due a certain special characteristic of the brain which is known as “neuroplasticity.” Neuroplasticity simply refers to the ability of the brain to build new brain neurons as a result of brain training. This proves that even if you weren’t born with a good memory, you can easily improve your memory through the use of memory training games. In fact, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, Dementia and other degenerative disorders is greatly reduced by this exercise.
In order to enjoy the full benefit of memory training, you need to ensure that you are using the right games. Such games are available online and also as part of comprehensive memory improvement programs. Needless to say, a comprehensive memory improvement program is a lot more beneficial than a stand-alone game. It should be scientifically designed to target over 8 different areas of the brain, improving all aspects of memory including spatial memory, sense of direction, and memory for names and faces.
While memory improvement games do boost memory, you need to play these games for at least 10 minutes each day in order to keep your brain alert. Initially it will take about 2 weeks for you to notice a significant change in your memory. However, this is not to say that you should stop training after the first two weeks. You have to keep training your memory because as soon as you stop training your memory will start to deteriorate again, just as your muscles lose their shape when you stop exercising. Keep your brain in top shape with memory games and software, and you’ll stay fit for a long time.
With the number of manufacturers out there trying to convince consumers to spend their hard-earned money on new products, finding the right memory software has become much harder. There are many products that just don’t live up to their hype. However, just because some memory programs don’t work as promised doesn’t mean that none of them work. In fact, numerous observational studies have shown that memory training, including using memory software, greatly reduces the risk of memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s in old age. Nonetheless, there are a number of factors that clearly distinguish effective memory training programs from ineffective ones.
Learning how to improve memory isn’t the same as learning a few mnemonic techniques. Mnemonics are a great way to recall numbers and names but even they won’t improve your memory on their own. Exceptional memory improvement software takes a multifaceted approach to memory improvement and not only improves your ability to remember names and numbers but also your sense of direction, visual memory, and spatial memory.
The Principle of Neuroplasticity
The manufacture of exceptional memory improvement programs is always based on scientific principles. One of the main scientific principles that comes into play during the design of memory improvement programs is the principle of neuroplasticity. Did you know that your brain is constantly reorganizing itself and forming new neural connections? This means that even if you are already experiencing memory loss, there is hope for you. You only need to train your mind using effective memory training software.
Great memory improvement software requires very little effort on your part. It is nothing like learning mnemonics techniques or tricks where you have to put in a lot of effort in order to learn the complex techniques. In a top-notch program, the software developers reduce the amount of effort required on the user’s part by integrating video training into the software. This keeps you from wasting time and effort trying to figure out how the software works.
The greatest limitation in trying to improve your memory by reading a book on memory improvement techniques is that there is no way for you to know whether or not your memory is actually improving. It is easy to feel demotivated when you don’t know whether or not your efforts are paying off.
Memory improvement software should be based on an algorithm that enables the software to adjust the training program depending on the user’s needs. For instance, if for some reason you are lagging behind in one area, the software will automatically present you with more opportunities to practice the skill that you need to improve.
If you are not getting enough exercise and sleep and eating a healthy diet, you will not be able to enjoy the full benefits of memory software. Most experts know this and some software developers have even began to incorporate tips on diet for memory and how to tackle age related memory loss within the software. This enables you to take a holistic approach to memory loss and how to reverse it.