Head to Head, Cognitive Training vs Cognitive Exercising

Understanding these differences is essential for setting appropriate goals and achieving tangible results.

Head to Head, Cognitive Training vs Cognitive Exercising

Understanding the crucial difference and deciphering whats best for you.

With the growing popularity in cognitive training and BET (Brain Endurance Training) it is important to understand the difference between simply utilising cognitive exercises and the realities of deliberate cognitive training.

Cognitive training is fast becoming popular even in the most prestigious of sports. In many cases, the terms 'training' and 'exercising' are often used interchangeably, yet they hold distinctly different implications for our physical and cognitive development. Understanding these differences is essential for setting appropriate goals and achieving tangible results.

Cognitive Exercises vs. Training: Understanding the Basics

In order to grasp the difference between cognitive training and cognitive exercise, we must first utilise more understood and tangible examples in the body.

When we take a walk around the block, we are exercising. It is not to failure, nor particularly targeted. This still has many benefits for us, walking is excellent and simple for us to do.

When we train for a sport or a goal we call it training. Training for a marathon or a sprint race involves us incorporating targeted sessions so that our body continues to adapt to the speed and distance of the race we are training for.

Training is targeted. Exercising is also beneficial but is rarely targeted or we call it generalised.

At its core, cognitive exercise involves activities that engage the brain, utilizing various cognitive skills. This could range from solving puzzles to playing strategy games. In sports, we have light systems and brain games on light boards. While such exercises can stimulate the brain, they are simply cognitive exercises. Like taking your brain for a leisurely stroll—beneficial but not necessarily transformative.

Conversely, cognitive training is more rigorous and structured. It involves challenging the brain with progressively tougher tasks for progressively more time in order to push mental capacities to their limits, often to the point of fatigue. This approach is proven to produce adaptations in cognitive capacity as well as physical capacity. Improvements like, faster reaction times, fewer mistakes, better performance under pressure, enhanced physical capacity and better decision making.

Training, implies a strategic approach aimed at specific goals with measurable results. It involves pushing through progressively challenging regimes—often to the point of fatigue—to foster physical adaptations.

The Role of Measurement and Progressive Overload

Both cognitive and physical training rely heavily on the principle of progressive overload. This involves gradually increasing the difficulty or intensity of exercises to continue challenging the body and mind beyond their respective comfort zones. Without this critical element, improvements plateau, and further development is stifled.

Measuring performance is vital to track progress and make necessary adjustments to training regimes. Whether it's timing a run, counting repetitions, or assessing mental fatigue levels, these metrics guide the training process and ensure that it leads to real, observable improvements.

When it comes to cognitive training, measurement is essential. If mental fatigue levels are not being assessed, and data from training sessions is not available or is not being collated and assessed, then it is not possible to know the brain is fatigued, or how fatigued it is and therefore how to continue to progress towards results.

Results that cannot be achieved by merely 'going through the motions' of basic exercises. Much like you can't prepare for a 400-meter sprint by casually walking around the block, you can't train your brain to reach higher cognitive functions without pushing it into new territories of challenge and fatigue.

Understanding and Applying the Difference

Recognizing the distinction between exercising and training can be a game changer in how we approach our cognitive training regimes. It can also assist us in deciding what kind of cognitive platform or equipment we want to use. For those serious about making significant improvements—whether preparing for an athletic competition or enhancing cognitive resilience—the path lies in disciplined training rather than just routine exercise. Simply put, systems without enough data, may only offer some cognitive exercise at best, and if what you are looking for is to simply walk an athletes brain around the park, and provide something different to work with, then perhaps a simple light system or VR game will do the trick. Just don't expect profound, measurable improvements.

In conclusion, while regular cognitive exercise is undeniably beneficial, it is the targeted, measured, and progressively challenging nature of cognitive training that leads to real and significant advancements in both physical and cognitive capacities. If you are looking for the profound results from something like BET then you need data, progressive programming and the approach should be strategic, challenging, and continuously evolving to ensure peak performance.

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