Lumosity: A Workout for Your Brain

workout brain

Give your brain a workout! Credit: dierk schaefer

This brain-workout post is a part of our second-annual New Year, New Rear Week to help you to be fitter, healthier and a touch (okay, a lot!) more awesome in 2012. Read all New Year, New Rear posts here!

Today we’re going to switch things up a bit by talking about a different kind of workout. A kind of workout that everyone can benefit from no matter your size, fitness experience or skill set. It’s a workout for the big ol’ muscle between your ears—your brain! Clinical research has shown that “brain training” (which we like to call a brain workout) can impact one’s willpower, helping you to make healthier choices. So when the website and brain-workout company Lumosity offered us the opportunity to try its services, it was—wait for it—a no brainer.

Designed by neuroscientists (aka really smart brain scientists), Lumosity includes 35 games that help train your brain to remember more, concentrate better and improve overall brain fitness and physical motivation. Based on the concept of neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to physically adapt to new stimuli—Lumosity training includes challenging (and actually pretty fun) exercises that improve your creativity, working memory and fluid intelligence in just about 10 minutes a day three or more times a week.

workout brainAfter taking a short survey that determined what areas of brain fitness I wanted to boost (creativity, memory, work performance), I got to playing. While some of the games are more fun than others (obviously you enjoy the ones you’re good at most), even the “harder” games are addicting. There are matching games, spot-the-bird games, a play-cashier-and-remember-your-customer’s-name-and-order game, word games, number games—so many games! Most of them are pretty quick to play (just a couple of minutes with a timer), but they’re quite engaging. The graphics are cool and they’re easy to learn. Plus, as you play them, you rack up a score, and then, over time as your brain works out more regularly with them, you get better. I know it’s a simple concept, but watching your score climb is super satisfying.

You can get access to all of Lumosity’s games and programs for about $15 a month or $80 a year. While I’m not sure that I’d pay for myself to play every day, it would certainly be a great gift to give just about anyone. It would also make for a fab workplace perk (so be sure to forward this post on to your boss). And I really do think that the games work, as after just a few weeks of playing my brain does seem to be sharper and more focused.

Do you give your brain a workout? Would you try a brain-workout game like Lumosity in addition to your more physical workouts? —Jenn



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