When you go to the gym, what muscles do you want to strengthen? Usually, people focus on the muscles that make them feel stronger, like the biceps, quadriceps, and pectoral muscles. In a typical exercise routine, the brain is not a part of the body that is considered. The brain needs exercise, too. Whether the exercise is to increase cognitive skills or to diminish boredom, the mind needs to be challenged. There are many apps available that can be used with a mobile device or a desktop computer.
Fit Brains by Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone, made famous by their language programs, collaborated with scientists to create the app Fit Brains. The program starts with an initial assessment, with tasks focusing on various skills. Once the assessment is completed, exercises are provided that are targeted towards the users’ deficiencies. Exercises rank you by score, reaction time, accuracy, and percentile (comparing to other users). More than 50 games are available that build the skills of memory, problem-solving, focus, words, speed, visual, and emotion. All games are available for as low as $9.99 a month. With a membership, users gain a customized training schedule, advanced tracking and comparison, one new game per month, and games to train cognition and emotion.
NeuroNation is an app that claims to have a high level of scientific research behind its design. The program states that there are scientific collaborations with multiple universities from the United States, Australia, and Berlin. There is also a mention of the NeuroNation program winning the Leonardo Award for Digital Prevention from the Federal Ministry of Health. The app advertises that there are twelve key domains of brain performance that are tracked daily for users. Prices are as low as $1.62 a month for full access to 25 exercises that are packaged within the customized personalized training. After the assessment, users are given seven personalized training plans for memory, concentration, and intelligence.
Lumosity is another option for those who want to exercise their mental skills. In this app, there are more than 50 games available that are designed by scientists. According to the app, in the development phase, the scientists chose either to adapt current neuropsychological tasks that have been tested over time or they created new experimental challenges. These scientific games identify cognitive skills and find a way to challenge the skill. Tasks are adaptable to the level of the player so that all players feel challenged and are reaching their full ability potential. There are a small number of free skills to exercise daily, but all games are available for as low as $4.00 a month.
Peak Brain Fitness
Peak Brain Fitness is a daily mind exercise app that evaluates your daily performance and rates users on various skills: Memory, problem-solving, language, mental agility, and focus. The goal of Peak Brain Fitness is to provide short, challenging mental workouts that revolve around skills people use in their daily lives. According to Peak Brain Fitness, they “work with scientists studying the impact of video games from Cambridge, Yale, UCL and King’s College London.” Their approach is more about video games creating better brain cognition. The app also creates a brain map that users can use to compare themselves to other age groups, professions, and friends. Like many mind exercise apps, there are limited free daily skill workouts. Unlimited access to all 44 skill games is available for $2.92 a month.
CogniFit is an app that claims to be based on clinically validated technology. The app also claims its effectiveness has been “scientifically validated and proven in groups, schools, universities, and hospitals worldwide.” CogniFit begins with a baselines assessment of cognitive health. There are many challenging assessment activities that combine multiple skills at once, such as moving the user’s electronic device while completing a cognitive activity. The assessments score users on visual scanning, response time, estimation, and hand-eye coordination. After the assessments are completed, CogniFit creates a training program that meets the cognitive needs of the user. CogniFit is different from many mind exercise apps because it offers many one-time $49.99 assessments that address mental health issues. These assessments focus on general cognitive ability, ADD/ADHD, chemo brain, depression, dyscalculia, dyslexia, insomnia, and Parkinson’s Disease. If the user wants daily personalized training, the fee is $15.84 a month.
Which mind exercise program is best?
Unfortunately, there is no correct answer. Everyone is different. Because the brain is complicated and inconsistent from person to person, one app will fulfill the needs and capture the interest of one person, but may not work for another. When choosing the perfect mind exercise program, consider what skills you want to improve and what games interest you the most. Interesting games are important to users because cognitive skill building is something that can improve skills over time and if a user is uninterested in the games, they will not continue practicing long enough to find results. Find a program that fits your lifestyle and starts exercising your mind.
Where Can I Learn More?
Health and wellness should be a priority in everyone’s life. We can help. Make an appointment and consult our staff about your mental health needs. Our consultants can help you make important choices for your mental health.