In 2020, it’s becoming more acceptable that brain health and all that goes with it—memory, intelligence, and complex decision making—declines with age. We are now being exposed to thousands of scientifically-backed research articles that show how taking effective measures such as undergoing a brain health program can not only enhance cognitive performance but also help in reversing the ageing brain process. That’s why Neuro Athletics is working exclusively with FITLIGHT Trainer™, a unique wireless reaction training system powered by LED lights.
Researchers at the Center for BrainHealth at UT Dallas found that a cognitive training program used for one hour a week, alongside two hours of homework, reversed cognitive decline in older adults. So why not engage in a brain-health program to stimulate the nervous system on a daily basis to help you perform better in everyday life? At Neuro Athletics, we test the cognitive performance levels of all of our athletes. From that data, we move them into a mental performance training program that incorporates the FITLIGHT Trainer.
The FITLIGHTS are used as targets for the users to deactivate, either by touch or motion, via the patented proximity and impact sensor. The system can be adapted and configured for a variety of training regimes. It is used as a speed, agility and cognitive training system that is designed to completely transform the way we exercise, train and measure performance. It is excellent for sports, healthcare, and tactical performance, and it helps strengthen the bond between the mind and body, enhancing reaction and response time, and so much more. It provides real-time feedback, and allows you to store data to review your progress. You can set baselines, create goals and get immediate objective results. Teams and trainers within the NFL, NBA and MLS are becoming so equipped with the usage of FITLIGHT Trainer in their everyday training regime that it’s becoming a staple in the homes of elite athletes.
Whether you are an elite athlete, mother, father, gardener, doctor or teacher, we all have one thing in common: we all have a brain. Did you know that your brain is only about three pounds, or about 2% of your body’s weight? Yet, it uses 20% to 30% of the calories you consume, 20% of the oxygen you breathe and 25% of the blood flow in your body. Not just that, your brain is the home of your personality. It is estimated that the brain has 100 billion nerve cells. There are also trillions of supportive cells in the brain called glia. Each neuron is connected to other neurons by up to 40,000 individual connections (synapses) between cells. Over time, we see a decline in speed amongst the synapses, which results in slower thinking, longer recovery times, and less capacity for focusing attention.
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I hope you’re beginning to understand why my life as a mental performance coach does not consist of being locked in a research lab 24/7. Over the past 15 years, I have helped dozens of partners apply neuroscience to improve their efforts; I’ve worked with public authorities to improve preventive medicine campaigns; I’ve worked with health-care providers to build out brain health programs for their neurology department; and I’ve worked with the retail industry to assess the gap between what consumers say and what they really do while shopping. No matter what “game” you’re playing, there is always room for growth!
In order to reverse the symptoms of cognitive decline, we now have the opportunity to engage in brain-stimulating activities using the technology of the FITLIGHT Trainer. According to Gallup’s 2019 data on emotional states, Americans are among the most stressed-out populations in the world. Fifty-five percent (yes, more than half) of the U.S. population reports experiencing stress during the day—every day (and that was before the coronavirus outbreak.) This is 20% higher than the world average of 35%, and we know how damaging stress is to the neural circuitry of the brain.
Stress can cause an imbalance of the neural circuitry that services cognition, decision making, anxiety and mood. This imbalance, in turn, affects systemic physiology via neuroendocrine, autonomic, immune and metabolic mediators. In the short term, these changes may be adaptive. But, if the threat passes and the behavioral state persists along with the changes in neural circuitry, such maladaptation requires intervention with a combination of pharmacological and behavioral therapies.
With studies and scores like this, we can only wonder why we aren’t taking more action in training our brain to be able to combat the negative effects that the environment around us has on our brains.
Now that we know how the game day performance can be impacted by stress, how can we enhance cognitive performance using the FITLIGHT Trainer and have you perform better and think faster and hopefully live longer? Here are three ways that training your brain and nervous system with FITLIGHT can rapidly increase your mental performance.
Faster Decision Making
Cognitive and motor processes are essential for athletic performance. Among the cognitive processes involved in athletic performance, attentional functioning has been the main research topic in the recent years. Experimental studies have reported the superior cognitive abilities of expert athletes, who are capable of quickly extracting important information, encode and retrieve relevant information more efficiently in comparison with non-experts (e.g. Collins 2002; Mann et al. 2007; Memmert 2009 for review).
The studies mentioned above conducted tests using the FITLIGHT Trainer to prove the efficacy of the product, which helps increase focus performance. Not only can you use the computerized training protocols for improving athletic performance, but you can also track, measure and test your focus capacity and abilities. There are a number of different training options built into the system that allow you to track your own progression over a period of three months so you can see the growth in your thinking capacity.
The study outlined at the end of this article examines the ability to maintain attention during a serial reaction time task performance in expert handball players and non-athletes. Participants performed a protocol with the FITLIGHT Trainer consisting of 10 series of simple motor reaction tasks to visual stimuli. One of the biggest reasons for customer retention is, of course, results, but people also tend to get bored with the same repetitive training week after week.
The way we set ourselves apart from the rest of the world is due to the endless capabilities that the FITLIGHT Trainer has to offer. Our Neuro Athletics programs have the capability of having more than 1,000 different reaction training drills and can be saved into a single athlete profile. Almost every single workout can be related to optimizing the brain and increasing game-day performance, especially when programmed thoroughly, using the robust and customizable software the FITLIGHT Trainer has to offer.
Greater Mental Endurance
Thinking requires so much energy. Making decisions and solving problems relies heavily on a region of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. The PFC is the outer covering of the brain, the curly grey stuff you can see in pictures of brains. It’s a tenth of an inch thick and covers the brain like a sheet. The PFC, which sits behind the forehead, is just one part of the overall cortex and has its limitations. One of the reasons for the prefrontal cortex’s space limits comes down to the principle of competition. The brain cannot think or hold too many concepts at a time, so it becomes a competition of what concept will stay within the brain at a given time.
Using the FITLIGHT Trainer for mental capacity and endurance, the improvement isn’t coming from making the brain bigger, but from improving the efficiency of skills, such as getting information and ordering it in a way that is better managed by the brain so it can communicate effectively. The system is designed and engineered in a way to not only have a fun impact on training, but also to affect the neural processing of information over long periods of time, so your brain can in turn endure the demands of every day work and life.
The perception training program has been designed by a team of neuroscientists to help brains improve cognitive abilities related to perception.’Perception is a particularly useful training for those who often have to deal with hectic situations in their daily lives, in which they have to react quickly while being confronted with an overwhelming amount of information.
FITLIGHT Trainer’s perception training is useful at stimulating, working and rehabilitating different types of perception. The program is personalized, and the difficulty levels can be adapted to a person’s individual needs. It consists of a series of lights set up to engage the auditory and visual perceptions by enabling both the visual and auditory cues to engage both senses. You can also program the FITLIGHTS to be deactivated by motion or touch. This allows the user to deactivate the light at different distances, meaning you can really test an athlete’s depth perception, as the distance programmability is a unique feature to this system.
Today, neurotechnologies such as FITLIGHT can turn each of us into elite athletes. All you need is a brain-computer interface (BCI). Here’s the recipe: First, you need a brain. Then, add FITLIGHTS with a trackable tablet that records your speed and accuracy, allowing the real-time monitoring of reaction time. And then couple those with software that can identify patterns performance activity and convert them into mental commands that are transmitted to the devices you want to control. The Neuro Athletics program has just gotten a seat at the table and FITLIGHT Trainer is the main product we are serving. This is just the start.