Your brain is a complex organ. This structure consists of four sections called lobes: frontal, parietal, occipital and temporal lobes. According to Mayo Clinic, the frontal lobe is responsible for short-term memory, movement, problem solving, planning, organizing and thinking.
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Brain function decreases as a natural side effect of aging. In addition, medical conditions such as stroke or dementia can significantly affect brain function. Brain-training games, including frontal lobe exercises, can improve brain function. However, physical activity is also beneficial to brain health.
Try Frontal Lobe Exercises
According to Cleveland Clinic, mental exercise is critical to maintaining brain health. Mental exercises can promote the growth of new brain cells, which might even help ward off dementia.
Brain-training games are a popular method of "strengthening the brain." Research has shown that brain-training games are an effective way to enhance cognitive functions performed by the frontal lobe and other areas of the brain.
A study of 72 healthy young adults published in 2018 by Medical Science Monitor Basic Research assessed the effect of brain-training games on several cognitive functions. Of the 72 participants, 51 performed training games for 15 minutes per day, seven days per week, for three weeks.
Comparisons of pre- and post-testing scores between the training group and the control groups demonstrated significant improvements in speed, accuracy, working memory, attention to task and global cognitive function in the training group. Many of these functions rely on the frontal lobe.
Get Your Exercise
Brain-training games aren't the only way to exercise your frontal lobe. Research has demonstrated that physical exercise activates the prefrontal cortex with an immediate positive effect on cognitive function, including improved concentration and mental focus.
A study published in August 2019 in the journal Behavioral Sciences assessed oxygen uptake in the prefrontal cortex during exercises of varying intensities. The study compared the effects of low, moderate and high-intensity exercise on oxygenation in the brain.
Results of this study showed that cortical oxygenation was most improved after moderate exercise. The researchers also found that processing speed was lower after high-intensity exercise, possibly due to fatigue.
Build a Routine
Build a regular routine to reap all the benefits of brain-training exercises and physical activity to help improve brain health — including the health of your frontal lobe.
Regularly engaging in physical activity has a host of well-known benefits. In addition to improved cognitive functioning, an exercise routine can improve cardiovascular health, increase bone density, maintain body weight and improve balance and strength.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), in addition to cognitive benefits, participating in regular physical activity also helps reduce anxiety and risk of depression. You might even experience improved sleep patterns and overall better quality of life.
The HHS recommends that healthy adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week. In addition, include strength training that targets the major muscles throughout the body at least twice per week.
- Mayo Clinic: "Slide Show: How Your Brain Works"
- Medical Science Monitor Basic Research: "Brain Training Games Enhance Cognitive Function in Healthy Subjects"
- Behavioral Sciences: "Exercise Intensity Influences Prefrontal Cortex Oxygenation During Cognitive Testing"
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: "Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd Edition"
- Cleveland Clinic: "A Brain Health Guide"
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