Q&A: SharpBrains' Alvaro Fernandez on exercising your brain
Alvaro Fernandez is the founder of SharpBrains, an independent market research and think tank organization, and the author of “The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness: How to Optimize Brain Health and Performance at Any Age.”
Why is brain fitness important?
To achieve a state of well-being and maximum functionality, we exercise our bodies. Brain fitness works on a similar principle: Its purpose is to extend brain functionality, allowing us to maximize the cognitive, emotional and executive abilities we need. Brain fitness ... gives us the power to focus, manage stress and emotions and make sound decisions ... Evidence suggests that, just as our approach to physical fitness at all life stages affects our health later in life, brain fitness should also be a lifelong focus.
New Yorkers work all the time: Aren’t our brains fit?
Engaging work stimulates the brain, but ... an effective brain fitness regimen involves exercising different parts of the brain. Overspecializing in one area and ignoring another would be like lifting weights only with your right arm ... We live in a more challenging environment today, cognitively and emotionally, so it’s important to learn and adapt quickly.
How we can keep our brains functioning well?
Try brain fitness exercises that take you outside your routine. If you read to relax, try writing instead ... Software tools are available online that ... monitor, assess and enhance targeted brain functions ... People can also access biofeedback-based games, using game-like exercises with a hardware component that measures physiological responses. Yoga and meditation ... can help people manage stress and improve focus.