By Robert Stitt
The Saturday Night Live characters Hans and Franz announced to America that they were “Here to Pump, You Up”. They then proceeded to comment on all of your “flabby” parts that needed serious work. While the skit was truly over-the-top, it always hit a little too close to home and had at least an ounce of truth in it. After all, what it boils down to is that a lack of exercise on any part of your body is going to lead to “flabbiness”, and the only way to get rid of that flabbiness is to get “pumped up.”
Researchers have found that the brain is no different. While not a muscle, the brain still requires exercise to keep fit. There are even specific drills and routines you can run to keep your brain in shape in much the same way an athlete would follow an exercise regimen.
Tanya Mitchell is the Vice President of Research & Development for LearningRx. She says, “Keeping your brain at peak performance is your greatest asset when it comes to keeping your job (or moving on to something better). Strong brain skills will help you compete against the younger minds coming out of college. They may be eager and fresh-faced, but you’re a seasoned pro with the knowledge of past failures and successes, client relationships, company loyalty and a highly trained brain!” LearningRx is a “personal brain training company”.
Mitchell warns that it is not just a healthy body that needs proper nutrition. The brain cannot operate at its fullest potential if it has not been given the right nutrients. She also notes that just like your muscles need exercise to grow and stay firm, so does your brain. While you may do bicep curls for your arms, you can do brain games like crossword puzzles, learning a new language, or participating in word games by yourself or with others.
According to the Network Journal, some other ideas you can try to keep your mind fit include using mnemonic devices to remember items instead of using lists, adding a timer to tasks to increase your brain’s processing speed, and solving Sudokus. If you need assistance, there are always organizations such as LearningRx to help you out.
There are no known negative side effects of improving brain power, but there are many detriments to not doing it. Among the positives: potential boosts in your career, increased self-confidence, financial success, and happiness.