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Keeping your brain fit while staying home

Created: March 30, 2020 09:39 AM

With "Stay at Home" orders across in place, many people are adjusting to staying at home almost all the time.

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As everyone tries to find new things to keep themselves busy, a neuroscientist stays it's important to keep your brain fit while staying home. 

Dr. Henry Mahncke, a neuroscientist and CEO of Posit Science, said, "Your brain actually needs that constant simulation and that constant learning to stay fit and happy and healthy."

With everything that's going on, it may be easy to forget that, but Dr. Mahncke said there's a lot your brain misses out on when you don't try to keep it fit. 

"If you're normally going out to work, your brain might have to learn all kinds of new things," Dr. Mahncke said.  "If we're stuck at home because of these 'Stay at Home' orders, then our brains not being asked to do all of that."

It takes learning to keep it healthy and learning things on social media doesn't really count. 

"Skill learning is what really helps the brain and rewires the brain and that's because it requires this kind of practice, it's progressive, it starts easier, and then step by step it gets harder as you grow," Dr. Mahncke said.  

Skill learning could be something like learning a new instrument or picking up a new hobby.

"The thing to do is find the types of activities that you've maybe put off because you have been busy commuting or in some other different ways," Dr. Mahncke said.  

Or better yet, include your social activity with your brain activity.

"Maybe it's time to reestablish those old connections whether it's old college friends or old work friends," Dr. Mahncke said.  "When you're rebuilding those connections or you're talking to someone really listen to them and ask them to describe where they are an what they're seeing in detail."

He said creating those mental visualizations is a form of brain exercise. 

Dr. Mahncke works specifically in brain training exercises through his company, Posit Science. 

"We make a program called Brain HQ and Brain HQ is designed to have more than two dozen brain exercises," he said.  "They're designed to work more accurately and in doing so, improve things like memory and attention and processing speed."

That could be another option for those looking to keep there brains fit while they're staying home. 

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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