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Brain-Training Games Gain Popularity, Increases Brain Performance

MIAMI (CBS4)- It's important to exercise our bodies, but what about our brains? Researchers say there's science behind the brain train phenomenon, and working out the brain is becoming big business.

While it may look like "brain trainer" Laura Brumberg is exercising her arms and legs, it's her brain that she's really working out.

"It takes a few minutes and it allows for focus and concentration," Brumberg said.

Brumberg is part of a worldwide fitness revolution called "brain training."

The burgeoning industry includes everything from computer based programs to actual brain gyms where consumers build mental functions the same way they build muscles.

"So it could be just as simple as balancing your checkbook or organizing your house," said Mary Meoshi, a brain trainer.

She teaches a series of physical movements that are said to stimulate different areas of the brain to help increase mental performance.

"As you start to do these developmental movements, more neuro connections are made between all the parts of the brain," Meoshi said.

Physical trainer Brant Omuseman is used to working out his body and is now a firm believer of also working out his brain.

"There are different parts of our brains and we tend to hang out in certain parts and this allows us more access to more parts more often," he said.

Brumberg said he benefited from working out his brain.

"I learned some activities that I couldn't do before presentation just to improve my focus and to allow me to be in a more relaxed place," Brumberg said.

Brain training games are also growing in popularity, especially at the workplace.

"I thought it would be useful for professionals, many of whom are over 50 to have their brains tuned up a little bit," said Howard, Chief Executive Officer at a venture capital firm, and also a brain trainer.

He said the computer games have helped to improve his cognitive abilities. Howard said he hopes it benefits his employees too.

"It affects the speed at which your brain functions and your strength," Neuman said.

Neurologist Cowa Brockington said believe it or not there is science behind brain training. She said the brain gets bored.

Cowa said if you want a better brain "you have to use it."

She said you don't need to buy software. Simply introducing new scenarios, both physical and mental, can boost the brain's ability.

For instance, learning a new language, taking an art class or joining a gym can have the same benefits, she said.

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