Guest post provided by Christina Daniel. See below for more information about this author.
In the digital age, many people see the rampant use of technology as a hindrance to people’s mental health.
Critics ask the question, “If computers, and other media, do mental work for people, when are people thinking?”
Technology doesn’t have to be an obstacle to a healthy brain, and in fact it can actually be an ally.
Brain function is extremely important for staying healthy and living well.
If people use technology purposefully, it can actually help with the goal to boost brain function.
Below the jump are several examples of how to harness technology to boost your brain.
Exercise is one of the most simple and effective ways to boost brain function.
Technology, such as heart monitors can be a great way to track exercise to make sure it is at the appropriate rate to be effective.
Another way to use technology to aid exercise is to use run tracking, or mapping, programs on a watch or iPod with a GPS. This data can be synced to a computer and people can use it to see how far they have run, track their pace, or to plan future runs in their area.
Benefits of exercise include allowing greater blood flow to the brain and improving the development and survival of neurons and nerve-protecting compounds.
Diet is another way that people can improve brain function.
Using technology can allow a person to quickly check what foods they can find vitamins and nutrients in. Having this information easily accessible through smart phones is very continent for selecting food while shopping.
Animal-based omega 3 fats are extremely beneficial to brain function and provides important structural support to the nervous system. Increasing these in a person’s diet has been shown to reduce the likelihood of developing a degenerative brain condition.
Coconut oil is another valuable food to consume for the brain’s function as it helps increase and maintain the production of insulin in the brain.
Vitamin D is another helpful thing to consume as it increases nerve growth in the brain.
Rather than guessing at what one has eaten or what one’s current vitamin counts are, harnessing technology allows for accurate and easy tracking of blood levels and thus allows for easier optimization of brain function.
Listening to music is an activity aided greatly by technology that has been shown to have a positive effect on brain function.
The Mozart Effect is the popular theory that listening to classical music makes your smarter.
This has been confirmed by the way that listening to music has boosted cognitive levels and verbal fluency in patients with coronary artery disease.
Using iPods to listen to music makes it possible to do this while traveling, commuting to work, during exercise, or at just about any point in the day.
Another of the most important ways to boost brain function is through challenging the mind with mental tasks.
Learning new things actually changes the size and structure of brain neurons and connections between these neurons.
Finding mental challenges and stimulation made easy by computers and other forms of technology.
Research has shown that even surfing the internet exercises areas of the brain related to to complex reasoning and decision making.
There are also lots of options on the internet for crossword puzzles, Sudoku puzzles or other types of stimulating challenge.
Using technology for mental challenges has a much more positive effect on the brain compared with passive activities like watching television.
Though technology is often criticized for making people stupid and decreasing health and brain activity, if it is leveraged in the right ways it can have a positive impact on the health of the brain.
Using technology to inform exercise, diet, music listening, and finding mental challenges are ways to make caring for the brain more efficient and easier to incorporate into a daily routine.