Regular brain exercise aids healthy ageingMonday, January 18. 2010
A study conducted by Alzheimer’s Australia WA has shown that two hours of brain exercises a week can help fight age-related memory loss and improve a person’s mental capacity.
The study was conducted with people in their 60s, 70s and 80s from a retirement village and a senior fitness centre who spent two hours a week over an eight-week period participating in structured brain fitness.
The program titled ‘Brain Fitness Pilot Project’ consisted of computer-based hearing exercises which aimed to sharpen a person’s ability to take in speech allowing the brain to hear and remember more details.
Most of the participants recorded an improvement in their memory and train of though whilst 70% found an improvement in their hearing and the ability to follow and remember conversations.
Alzheimer’s Australia WA Chief Executive Officer, Frank Schapers said, “Research now shows that much of age-related memory decline in later life is the result of negative lifestyle choices. Taking positive steps to ‘train the brain’ work in the same way physical exercise benefits the body.”
“It may also help to reduce the risk of a person developing dementia later in life,” continued Schapers.
Brain fitness training is recoganised as a way to enhance healthy ageing as well as delaying the decline of cognitive thinking. The training is based on the idea that the brain has the ability to change responses to new learning and stimuli. It challenges the notion that we are predisposed to inevitable mental decline as we grow older.
“If two hours a week can have such significant benefits, imagine the benefits if people undertake brain fitness routines 30 minutes each day,” Mr Schaper said.
Study participants Wendy Brown, 62, and her mother Vicky Eyre, 84, both reported improvements in their memory after completing the brain fitness program.
“I am able to remember number sequences a lot better and that is already benefiting me in my work,” said Ms Brown who runs her own training and consultancy business.
“There have been less instances of me entering a room and forgetting what I was there to do while mum is now able to recall words much better than before.
Another study participant Leila Kaulkriuter, 62, said since completing the program, she found she was able to remember a lot more in her daily activities. I now remember what I need to buy from the shops which means I don’t need as many lists as before,’ she said. “Words come to me much more easily in conversations and I can recall characters in books and on TV.”
Many adults in their early to late 50s are using their spare time to solve crossword puzzles, sudoku, word searches and other puzzles to ensure their brain is prepared for aging.
Do you do any specific things to increase your brains ability?
What do you believe helps your brain function better?Do you have any troubles with your memory?
What do you do to help aid memory loss?