Many brain fitness services extol the virtues of a laser-like focus and better attention to detail, but what about everything else going on around you? Your peripheral vision is essential for maintaining awareness of your surroundings, and it can deteriorate with age. Thankfully, with the help of mental exercises and games, you can increase your peripheral perceptiveness and also give your memory a boost in the process. These are four ways peripheral vision training can have a noticeable impact on your daily functioning.
Staying Aware of Your Surroundings
The most immediate advantage of peripheral vision is that it allows you to keep tabs on your surroundings. This is especially useful in focus-intensive tasks such as driving, where you may be too busy watching the car ahead of you to notice the one running a red light on your left. Strong peripheral awareness means you will rarely be surprised and may have a better recollection of the details around you, both of which can be useful in both mundane and emergency situations.
Improving Your Reading Rate
Your reading speed is partially dictated by the field of vision, or visual span, in which you can meaningfully make sense of words. With better peripheral vision, this field may increase considerably and provide you with a higher ceiling for your reading speed. One study found that individuals trained to increase their visual span saw an according increase in reading speed of 41 percent.
Sharpening Your Memory
Many peripheral brain fitness exercises ask you to focus on a word, number, or object at the center of your screen and then remember what occurs around it. This method carries two advantages; the first is obviously to increase your peripheral perception, but the second is to increase your memory capacity for events that take place outside your focus. If you have ever had trouble finding your keys because you set them down next to their usual location, this form of mental exercise may help you be more aware of your surroundings.
Combating the Effects of Aging
As you grow older, your eyes inevitably undergo some deterioration, and this includes your peripheral vision. But just like working your brain may help slow the progress of aging-related cognitive loss, practicing your peripheral vision can help erase the effects of long years of wear and tear. With people living longer than ever, you owe your mind the same healthy exercises you invest in your body. Start exploring brain fitness programs today to begin improving your peripheral vision and other critical cognitive functions.