Each month I provide an update on my progress to bettering cognitive health. This includes challenging my brain in scored games, expanding my knowledge through books, reviewing the latest research articles and watching creative, idea-worthy talks.

Brain Games

I’ve been pretty busy this past month with traveling, events and work. Due to this, I pushed brain training slightly lower on my priority list which is why I was only able to complete it 21 out of the past 30 days. Despite that, I’ve still been able to put in the effort when I’ve had the time and set high scores in all three apps. I feel like my progress is slowing as I’m hitting my peak sometimes but the trend is still upwards.

Also, I found a neat article on Business Insider which helped reaffirm why I do brain training. And, the article referenced a game that I play in both the Lumosity and Peak apps (see more info in the next section).

Brain Workouts: 21 out of 30 days
Lumosity LPI: 1798 (+6 since June)
Elevate Average: 4389 (+49 since June)
Peak Brain Score: 777 (+6 since June)

Business Insider Featured a Brainteaser

This past week, Business Insider published an article about a brainteaser (linked here). The brainteaser tests what’s called the Stroop effect. “According to Scientific American, the Stroop effect proves that if the name of a color is presented in a color that doesn’t match, it can affect how quickly a person is able to name the color they’re actually seeing. For example, if the word ‘red’ is printed in yellow ink it will take a different amount of time for a person to name the color of the ink than if the word ‘red’ is printed in red ink.”

As I mentioned earlier, my brain training apps have this type of game in their lineup. Therefore, I practice this game about twice a week already. Knowing this, I sure hoped I was in the 20% of people who answered all 15 questions correctly. And, it turns out… I am! I took the test and got all 15 questions correct. I challenge all of you to click the link below and play the game yourself. See if you’re in the 20% too! If not, brain training can help you get there.

Pro Tip: When playing the brainteaser featured in the link below, take note of your time to complete all 15 questions. I completed it in under 19 seconds with 100% accuracy. Comment below with your score and time!

Source: Only 1 in 5 people can pass this brainteaser that mismatches the written name of a color and its actual color, can you?

Book of the Month

Shoe Dog was this month’s read. It’s an inspiring story about how the founder of Nike, Phil Knight, started and grew his business from a side hobby to a 100+ billion dollar business. I’d say there were two important lessons I learned from this book. Number 1 is patience. It took years of work for Phil to grow the business enough for him to work on it full-time. It took a number of more years before the name Nike was recognized nationally. And, it took over a decade before Nike was actually profitable. It’s crazy to see how important patience and persistence is to create something special. Number 2 is people. The people who worked for Nike were extremely passionate and dedicated to the company. They cared a lot. They constantly worked to improve the product. They changed positions as the company needed. And they relocated from west coast, to east coast, and back to the west coast as required. This book gave a true glimpse at how dedicated and passionate people can help a business flourish. Overall, I enjoyed this book a great amount and would recommend it to you. Please pick-up your copy here and give it a read!

New Study Shows You Can Prevent Alzheimer’s

I post cognitive health update’s every month. They’re not my most popular posts, but they’re just as important as the rest. Cognitive decline is a major issue around the world. Alzheimer’s, for example, is the sixth leading cause for death in the US. New research is continuing to show that like most diseases, they can be prevented with proper care for your health.

This article/study (linked below) lists six components to keeping your brain healthy:

  • Nutrition – A Whole Foods Plant-Based diet provides your brain with the nutrients it needs
  • Exercise – “Exercise can reduce chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 50%”
  • Sleep – As I’ve talked about before, sleep is critical to mental performance
  • Manage Stress – Stress causes physical, emotional and psychological strain
  • Socialize – Social connections keep our brain engaged and provide us a sense of purpose
  • Mental Exercise – “Researchers suggest that mental exercise reduces the risk (of Alzheimer’s) by up to 33%”

As you can see from this list, mental exercise plays a big role. So often we go to the doctor and measure our weight, height, blood pressure, cholesterol, and more to judge our health. We spend a lot of time on the physical aspects of how we’re feeling and so little on the cognitive side. It’s time we place more emphasis on brain training, reading, learning and other cognitive aspects to help us live a happy and healthy life.

Source: New studies find it’s possible to slow, even reverse dementia

Final Thoughts

I got a little off track this month with my brain training workouts but still set new record highs. Business Insider published a brainteaser that tested my training efforts and I passed with flying colors. Shoe Dog was a great read this month and I’m super happy with my decision to read a book a month (so much to learn). And, more new studies have come out that prove the importance of mental exercise. It’s been a great month for learning and I hope you’re improving your cognitive health too!

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