In a world that’s grown to prioritise physical fitness, the mind, the power centre of our entire being, sometimes gets overlooked. In an episode of my podcast, Wellness Curated by Anshu Bahanda, we’re changing that narrative. I had the privilege to host Dr Arnie Gotfryd, a leading voice in the field of applied neuroplasticity and the visionary behind Maxi Mind Learning. His insights into the world of ‘neurobics’ shed light on the profound ways we can train our brain, similar to how we train our body. But what exactly is neurobics? Neurobics, as Dr Gotfryd explains, are exercises specially curated to enhance brain functionality. Just as we engage in aerobic exercises to boost cardiovascular health, neurobics targets our mental faculties. It’s all about creating a regimen that fosters memory enhancement, razor-sharp focus, heightened problem-solving skills, and swift calculation abilities
What sets this episode apart is Dr Gotfryd’s deep dive into how these exercises work. He untangles the intricate web of brain functioning and the transformative power of neuroplasticity. But it’s not just theoretical; listeners are equipped with actionable tips to seamlessly integrate these exercises into daily routines.
UNLOCK THE BRAIN’S POTENTIAL
POTENTIAL Engaging in regular brain exercises not only bolsters memory, focus, attention, problem-solving skills, and creativity but also fortifies the brain against cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. To gain a deeper understanding of the phenomenon behind this, it’s worthwhile to read Dr Norman Doidge’s groundbreaking work titled “The Brain’s Way of Healing.” Dr Doidge, a renowned Canadian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, uses his research to highlight that the brain possesses the innate ability to heal and rewire itself in the face of injury and diverse neurological conditions.
His work sheds light on the potential of non-pharmacological interventions such as brain exercises and neurofeedback in aiding recovery and managing neurological ailments. Doidge underscores the transformative potential of consistently engaging in these exercises to bolster cognitive abilities and overall brain health. By consistently challenging the brain, individuals unlock a pathway to enhanced mental sharpness and resilience, we discovered on my recent podcast with Dr Arnie Gotfryd, an advocate for practical applications of neuroplasticity. On the show, he talks about neurobics, introducing listeners to exercises designed to hone focus and sharpen the mind. Gotfryd highlights the utility of tools like wobble boards, available on platforms like Amazon. By pairing such a board with bean bags, one can assemble an affordable neurodevelopmental toolkit. The results? Remarkable. “After just 20 minutes on the balance board,” Dr Gotfryd claims, “80% of people typically experience noticeable improvements in reading, writing, and even ocular performance.”
It’s evident that with consistent attention and training, our brains, much like our muscles, can be conditioned, strengthened, and rejuvenated. Here are some exercises that have been seen to help.
TEST AND TRAIN YOUR MIND
Activities like crossword puzzles, Sudoku, brain teasers – puzzles, riddles, illusions, pattern tasks – and logic games challenge the brain and promote problem-solving skills. These mentally stimulating games can be easily accessed through newspapers, books, or smartphone apps, making them convenient for daily brain workouts. Additionally, challenging the brain with new skills or hobbies, such as learning a musical instrument, a new language, or a craft, can promote neural plasticity and cognitive flexibility.
“Memorystimulating dance exercises provide enjoyable cognitive benefits, making dance a fascinating area of exploration in human memory research.”
MEMORY ENHANCEMENT EXERCISES
Memory exercises, such as memorising lists and playing memory match games can improve short-term and long-term memory retention. Some easy ways in which you can make this part of your routine, include memorising lists, like grocery lists, for example, or playing a game where you match playing cards. Another technique that may help, is mindful meditation, which involves focusing on the present moment and cultivating awareness. This practice has been linked to improved attention, reduced stress, and better overall cognitive function. And while it may seem obvious, it’s vital to mention the positive impact of regular physical exercise on the brain. Aerobic exercises increase blood flow to the brain, promoting the growth of new neurons and enhancing cognitive abilities. You’ll find more on this subject on my episode “The dancing brain” featuring Dr Peter Lovatt, a cognitive psychology professor with “Dance is the best physical exercise for the brain. Dancing offers cognitive benefits that may take weeks to fully realise.
Immediate benefits can be gained through synchronised social dance without physical contact,” he says. “Memory enhancement can be achieved through progressively challenging movement sequences,” he shares, adding that, “Memorystimulating dance exercises provide enjoyable cognitive benefits, making dance a fascinating area of exploration in human memory research.” In an age that emphasises the physique, it’s paramount to remember that true strength lies in harnessing the untapped potential of our minds. As we’ve explored here, with consistent nurturing, the brain, our most profound asset, can transcend its own boundaries, promising a future of unparalleled mental agility and resilience.
Listen to the full podcast by scanning the QR Code above or by visiting Daily Mirror Online (Website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter or Threads)