Interval Training for the Brain
Interval Training: Interval training is a type of physical training that involves bursts of high intensity work. This high intensity work is alternated with periods of rest or low activity (the intervals in interval training).
On the long drive home from a recent DE where over the course of 3 days, I did some 15 25+ minute track sessions, I pondered the cause of my mental fatigue, and wondered whether there might be any benefit to this hobby.
Research has suggested that keeping our brains active, through both stimulating mental and physical activities, is important to the preservation of existing, and even the creation of new, neuronal connections within our central nervous system. It would seem then, that driving "flat out" on the race track, is almost an ideal form of mental exercise.
Driving on the track requires the use of nearly all of our senses, except perhaps taste, but certainly vision, touch, position sense, hearing, and even olfactory to a certain extent. All while making nearly continuous, microsecond decisions and motor activities associated with steering, braking, and acceleration. As anyone who has driven hard or raced on the track knows, even a fleeting lapse of concentration or focus can result in a mistake leading to a spin, crash, or off. Case in point - the following brief video of me in the 3rd session on Sunday, when I lose focus for a second going into T8 at High Plains Raceway, and nearly spin:
No wonder I feel mentally exhausted by the end of a long track week-end - it really is exercise for the brain. I don't know if it will prevent Alzheimer's, but it sure beats doing crossword puzzles. :)
Cerebral interval training at High Plains Raceway: