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Is the Brain Fitness Program Dull

? What do the words "brain fitness program" bring to mind? I know when I think of fitness programs, I think of the aerobics classes I see at my YMCA, which looks like a fun dancing type of movement, led by an instructor with a microphone, and disco or dance music playing.

But brain fitness brings to mind term papers and reports and drudgery.

Interesting association of brain fitness with drudgery.

Now I am 60 years old, and graduate school is behind me by 12 years, and I am not so sure where they went, except I am married, and I have a 10 year old son, and a 4 year old daughter who expects a ration of tickling each day.

As a Boomer, moving rapidly towards a Senior classification, and one who has always enjoyed working out, and as a counselor looking for the best tools for my clients, I am now exploring a different version of brain fitness programs.

Technological developments like fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) have allowed scientists to explore inside the human brain in new and fascinating ways, and the results are providing some interesting ideas for enhancing our Boomer and Senior Brains, let alone the brains of our children, or our clients.

About ten years ago, there were discoveries made about the human brain that overturned all neuroscientific dogma in regards to the growth of new neurons. We do grow them and that growth can be encouraged. That is called neurogenesis.

(The following are good resources. Look up Norman Doidge,M.D., Helen Fisher,Ph.D., Simon Evans Ph.D, or Paul Burghardt,Ph.D.)

Evans and Burghardt in their book called Brainfit for Life talk about how to keep your mental aerobics rhythmic, metaphorically speaking, by managing stress, sleep, nutrition, and providing novel challenge for your brain.

Norman Doidge and Sharon Begley talk about the potential of the brain to overcome issues like stroke, and how regular practice changes brain maps, which the brain is OK doing anytime, in fact the brain is a data craving organ, and loves a stream of new experiences. It thrives on that, so if you are a musician, take up a foreign language, if you are a counselor, take up an instrument to change your brain maps.

By the way, changing brain maps is called neuroplasticity.

Brain fitness programs of the Computer Kind

There are new brain fitness programs out there that you can download to your computer which have research to back them up in regards to their effectiveness.

In fact, I believe that a combination of physical and mental aerobics is synergistic for the brain at any age.

The Mayo Clinic and University of Southern California have just released new research about the Posit Science program, which indicates (they say 'shows definitively') that "computerized brain exercises can improve memory and attention in older adults."

I do not think that maintaining an effective brain is a dull pursuit, especially when I can do it at my computer, on my schedule. Need a day off, because you know where your glasses are? Take it.

Brain fitness programs may even become part of the treatment regimen for ADD and autism, and many are looking to them to ward off alzheimers, or perhaps even reclaim lost brain function.

The brain fitness workout can vary given the program used. One requires 40 hours of time, one hour per day, for 40 days.

Another can be used daily in brief bursts, another requires 20-25 minutes per day for 19 days, and then maintenance practices subsequent to that.

Of course, reading a good book or practicing your instrument will require different time commitments with different purposes. (If I am learning some piano tunes to play for myself, I can learn at my own pace.)

Brain fitness programs do not have to be a drudgery. I can make them a fun part of my daily routine and reap the benefits of neuroplasticity and neurogenesis for a good long time, maybe until I can hold a grandbaby or two.

About Author Michael Logan :

Michael S. Logan is a brain fitness expert, counselor, a student of Chi Gong, and a licensed one on one HeartMath provider.&nbsp; I enjoy the spiritual, the mythological, and psychological, and I am a late life father to Shane, 10, and Hannah Marie, 4, whose brains are so amazing. <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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Article Added on Friday, May 15, 2009
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