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Brain training is a hard long process requiring dedication and consistency, I know, I’ve done it.  So when we decide to embark on the journey of brain fitness, let’s remember the basics for great brain training sessions. No matter if you are using a computer program, a cross word puzzle, a physical challenge, or working interactively, like when using our EFSAP Memory Expansion Program, these simple tips will help you get the most out of your time and effort.

1. Drink WATER

This is so obvious it is kind of a no-brainer, but if you are like me during a busy day, skipping water just happens. Before challenging yourself, instead of reaching for coffee, reach for your water bottle. Did you know just a 1% dehydration level can make us more tired?  Drinking about 3 cups of water will increase our reaction time by 14%, which is great anytime we are testing ourselves.

If you have children, bring them a drink in the morning as you wake them up. There’s something so nice about satisfying thirst. We sweat all night and our brain and body have been working to repair and rest. We need that glass of water in the morning, throughout the day, and right before brain training.

Dehydration can impair short-term memory function and the recall of long-term memory.
Joshua Gowin Ph.D.

2. Eat FOOD

Food is the fuel upon which our body operates. Too busy to eat healthy? Be realistic, don’t brain train if you are not eating real food. Seriously, candy bars and coffee are not going to help your concentration; but we’ve  all had those days, haven’t we? When we know our diet has not been the greatest – be kind to yourself and restart your plan the next day. 🙂

So how do you figure out what is right for you?

  1. Research for yourself, find out if you have food intolerances or allergies and eliminate them from your diet – you will feel so much better!
  2. Supplement with vitamins if you have to, but try to get your nutrition from your food.
  3. Plan your meals.
  4. Shop once you have eaten (you buy less candy bars that way).
  5. pack your lunch and snacks the night before.

3. Control Your ENVIRONMENT

Choose or create an environment where you can think, focus, and concentrate. Perhaps the children are sent outside to play while you train your brain. I remember my grandmother’s ritual of sitting in an easy chair solving the New York Times crossword puzzle. Our minds need some structure especially when we are challenging ourselves. Think schedule & environment. What, when, and where, can you challenge yourself without distraction?

“At times the whole world seems to be in conspiracy to importune you with emphatic trifles. Friend, client, child, sickness, fear, want, charity, all knock at once at thy closet door and say,—’Come out unto us.’ But keep thy state; come not into their confusion. The power men possess to annoy me I give them by a weak curiosity. No man can come near me but through my act.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. Energize Your MIND

Our ears are part of an amazing system. Both our body and our ears listen together. Some things we hear makes it harder for our brain to function (loud sounds, rap, rock, or heavy metal compositions, etc.).  Listen to classical music  or sound therapy before brain training. Your brain will have energy to complete the tasks you are challenging yourself with!  Even before a test, listening to classical baroque period masters (like Mozart) will charge up your mind and help you think better. Listen directly before brain training for a great session.

5. Rest & SLEEP

Sleep is so important for our entire body to reset and repair itself. Without enough rest and sleep our body cannot digest food properly, we cannot focus, we get more emotional, more sick, more tired, and more fat!  When our nutrition is out of wack, when we are stressing out, it is even more important to get rest and sleep.  Make your bedroom an oasis of relaxation, your body and your mind will thank you.

We are all working hard every day: moms, dads, professionals, teens and children. Everyone is busy! Let’s work smarter and make each brain training session count!

Questions?  We are happy to connect!

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Sources / Research Links

Effects of acute dehydration on brain morphology in healthy humans.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18064587
Cognitive performance and dehydration.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22855911
Do small differences in hydration status affect mood and mental performance?
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26290294

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263648.php