Dec 11, 2009
By: Alvaro Fernandez
Nice weekend reading material – recent news reiforcing emerging trends on physical, cognitive and emotional fitness, but with new twists.
“Researchers from Sweden and USC examined data on 1.2 million Swedish men born between 1950 and 1976 who also enlisted for the country’s mandatory military service. They looked at the participants’ global intelligence scores as well as logical, visuospatial, verbal and technical scores. The greater the cardiovascular fitness, the higher the cognitive scores at age 18. The association between muscle strength and global intelligence, in contrast, was weak.”
“UPMC Health Plan announced today that it has signed an agreement to offer award-winning brain fitness software from Posit Science®, at no cost, to all UPMC for Life Medicare Advantage members. This brain training program is a new part of the UPMC Health Plan wellness services, which focus on both mind and body fitness.
The brain fitness software, known as the Insight(TM) Brain Fitness Program, is a suite of five game-like computer exercises that make brain training challenging and effective. The program engages the brain’s natural plasticity (the brain’s ability to rewire itself) to improve basic brain function.”
“When we’re younger we’re learning quite intensively,” she said. “By middle age, we’re not learning intensively anymore and just using skills we’ve already mastered. That’s why it’s important to stretch your brain.”
Brain fitness games also have the potential to improve one’s emotional health, said Mark Baldwin, a psychology professor at McGill University in Montreal.
Baldwin has developed a number of computer games based on keeping a brain active physiologically, to improve it psychologically.
“It’s about practising or using games to train beneficial habits of thought, ” he said.