Regular memory training strengthens brain performance and promotes concentration. But not all memory workouts are created equal, and some are more effective than others.
In fact, you also train your brain by simply doing most of the daily tasks. Again, some contribute more to memorization and concentration.
Thus, the resolution of crosswords contributes only slightly to memory training, while it is solicited more by stimuli such as active listening, reading, speaking or even memorizing poetic texts. or song lyrics.
Of course, we would all like to have good memory, and that is why today there are many specific exercises to boost brain activity and more specifically areas dedicated to memory functions. In any case, memory and concentration often go hand in hand and our lifestyles also have a major role in the preservation or development of our cognitive capacities.
What are the factors favorable to memory and concentration?
More conscious food choices that are more beneficial to gray cells, exercises dedicated to memory, more traditional memorization techniques: these are all factors that can positively influence concentration and memory.
Conversely, we are also very quick to get distracted, whether it’s a message that appears on a screen, in the form of a pop-up, or a phone call.
Healthy eating boosts memory and concentration
The right food choices are essential for physical health and are the guarantors of our shape. The same goes for the brain, which needs specific nutrients. Eating a healthy, balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, olive oil and whole grains helps you improve your chances.
The brain contains up to 70% fat and this is why the fat we consume has a direct impact on its abilities. Oilseeds, such as nuts, are particularly beneficial. Flaxseed oil and cold sea fish oils, rich in EPA and DHA, are essential for the brain. They contain the now famous omega-3s.
But when it comes to brain and memory performance, medium chain fatty acids, such as coconut oil, have also been mentioned in recent years. The latter’s reputation dates back to the work of Dr. Mary Newport, who treated her husband’s Alzheimer’s disease by administering, among other things, coconut oil. However, the effects of coconut oil on the brain and memory are controversial.
Exercise and its benefits for the brain
Regular physical activity promotes blood flow to the brain, which in turn promotes the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to brain cells. One of the first steps to take is to get more oxygen by doing an outdoor activity. Sport promotes motor coordination, which in turn stimulates the brain.
Nothing better than a hike in the forest! You can practice it for at least half an hour, 3 to 5 times a week. Some activities combine physical exercise and concentration, such as dance, for example. But endurance sports are also very beneficial.
Creative hobbies like gardening stimulate mental faculties. They require concentration in the same way as playing chess, bridge, or practicing sudoku. Likewise, it is good to get involved in associative tasks.
The importance of focus
Concentration is the deliberate focus of attention on a specific activity, the achievement of a short-term goal, or the resolution of a given task. The ability to concentrate is the prerequisite for the ability to memorize. Without concentration, information cannot be properly absorbed and, therefore, cannot be properly stored.
Some specific exercises for memory and concentration
1 – Exercise of the shopping list
Memorize the products on the shopping list carefully for about a minute, then turn the sheet over. Count out loud to 40, then write down what you remember. Compare the two lists.
2 – The row of letters exercise
A very long row of letters is printed on the worksheets. Participants in memory training are asked to count the frequency of a certain letter in the row.
3 – attentive listening
A story is read in a very low voice. To listen, participants must concentrate intensely.
4 – Attention to breathing
Participants put their hands on their stomachs and try to pay attention only to their own breathing. It is a variation of the most well-known technique of meditation, where you focus on the breath, fixing your attention on the feeling of cold at the end of the nostrils as the air passes through them.
5 – Reverse spelling exercise
This concentration exercise involves spelling a word backwards.
6 – Exercise of applause
One person applauds in rhythm. It varies the intervals. The exercise consists of memorizing and reproducing increasingly complex rhythms.
7 – mnemonic tricks
Mnemonic tricks are very useful for memorizing different contents, such as phone numbers or names. Everyone has their own and the best solution is to create them yourself. Depending on whether you are more visual or auditory, you will use other techniques. Looking for them is in itself an exercise in memory.
Today, there are many exercises available to boost memory and focus. Some can be done online, or you can download an app for your mobile phone.
Let’s face it, we have a weakness for more traditional techniques, even if these digital exercises have their place, especially for people with memory problems.
But it is still easier to practice exercises that are firmly anchored in everyday life and that can be practiced anywhere, without the need for any support.
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