The brain has always been the special organ of our body, but why don’t we take it that seriously? People seem to focus on their physical health by eating nutritious food, and working out in the gym, but what about this organ that controls literally everything in our body?
Okay, I agree, good food and staying fit does help your brain as well, but the point of my focus is different here.
No matter what phase of life you are in, whether you are focusing on your work, trying to do better at school, or just doing your best to stay upbeat in your retirement days, there are various reasons why we all want to stay sharp and boost our brainpower. But, the stress level and the amount of anxiety that an average human suffers is way more than what our ancestors did. It is no longer about staying sharp, but also about maintaining psychological well-being.
Research tells us that IQs across the world has seen a steady decline over the past few years, where our collective intelligence has dropped by a point in the last decade itself. Yet again, it is not just the technology that can be blamed, but every single habit of ours from eating to our living habits have done its job in making us a little dumber than we were before. So what should one do now?
You might want to resort to solving Sudoku or completing daily crosswords, which will definitely keep the brain active, but what if there is a way that will be a complete antidote? There are different elements of the brain such as memory, cognizance, problem solving and others that everyone wants to develop so as to perform better. And what better way could there be if you could work on all of that just to the tip of your fingers using brain training apps?
Brain training apps help you increase your mental agility and keep your mind sharp by combining brain science with technology. Most of these apps work on the same format, wherein they are collections of mini-games, each focusing on different mental skills. At the end of the play or test, you can see how you have performed and you can see your improvement over time.
Even though people might have inhibitions since after all these are games, scientists have claimed from their studies that people who engage in any sort of video games are less likely to develop brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease. So, these brain training apps are not only fun and educational, but can have real health benefits as well. Let’s take a look at some of the best training apps that you can indulge in daily as they definitely feel worthier than Candy Crush Saga.
This one bags the gold amongst the bunch and is one of the oldest brain training apps as it has been around since 2007 with more than 70 million users. Lumosity allows you to take a brain fitness test after you create an account, which tells you where you stand as compared with others in the same age group. It then offers a selection of more than 25 cognitive mini-games that are mixed and matched for your daily challenge, which then tells you how you have performed for the day and the improvement that you have made so far. You can test yourself on speed, memory, attention, problem-solving and many other aspects of cognitive tasks, and the games adapt as per your performance so as to always keep you challenged. What I like about Lumosity is that it takes a conceptual approach, which gives you a feeling of playing a game but is actually training and polishing your brain.
You can use it on your Android phone or iPhone, or you can also access it through its website. The game is available in its free version where you can play a maximum of three pre-selected games per day, but in the premium unlocked version, you can choose to play any of the games.
Elevate is another favorite of the lot for many but it takes a more practical approach such as calculating a tip or writing a clear and concise email. This one helps to improve your skills for everyday life by exercising your memory, focus, speaking skills, processing speed, math skills and more. You can personalize your training program depending on the areas that you would like to focus on. The better your performance is in terms of speed and accuracy, the difficulty level increases to challenge you.
This app, just like Lumosity, is also based on extensive scientific research done by the experts in neuroscience and cognitive learning, thus promising to improve cognitive skills through daily training sessions. Since the 35+ games are related to real work tasks, there is a study which shows individuals using Elevate perform 69% better on a performance test as against the non-users. Elevate is available on Android and iPhone as a free version which provides a selected variety of daily exercises, whereas the premium subscribers gain access to a larger set of games for their daily tasks.
Children are known to learn languages quickly, and those children who grow up in bilingual families have shown to have more focus and cognition as compared to those who speak only one language. This is not just true for the kids but also applies to adults as well. Thus, Duolingo is a free app (also available on the website) that helps you learn a language of your choice through a variety of learning experiences. It helps you in learning basic vocabulary, grammar, as well as pronunciation through its mini-games. The app makes it easy and fun to learn a new language at our convenience. The games are basically learning exercises that guide you in word recognition, listening and understanding the words, short translations, and pronunciation. The app offers a variety of languages from French, Turkish, Welsh, Vietnamese, Hindi and much more. Check out the app on your iPhone or Android phone.
Eidetic is a great app but is different to others in the way that it focuses only on a specific ability of the brain, which is a memory. There was a time when we would memorize phone numbers, birthdays and addresses but with the advent of technology we just store everything in different kinds of apps. Thus, to help build your long-term memory, the Eidetic app uses a technique known as “spaced repetition”. It is a flash-card style approach wherein the app will help you memorize different things from lists, notes, to numbers and quotes. The app is unlike the other brain training apps since it helps you build your memory power using items that have meaning and context in your life. You can choose the timeframe for your memory training, which you will then be reminded by notifications when it is the time to test yourself. So, get training with this app on your Android and iPhones.
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While these are just some of the great apps there are many more like, Fit Brains which is similar to Lumosity with an addition that it also tests you on emotional intelligence, Peak has more than 40 games that focus on mental agility, creativity, emotional control, coordination and many more or even Quizlet for more focused exercises that bring to you user-generated flashcards ranging in different topics. So choose the one which suits your needs and the one that is definitely fun, because brain exercises are boring if there is no fun involved! By the way which one is your favorite?