CogniFit's Science blog: Maintain That Young And Youthful Brain With Mental Training

Maintain That Young And Youthful Brain With Mental Training

Whether it is mentally or physically, few people actually want to age. Of course, exercising can help you stay fit and eating a healthy, nutritious diet comes with a plethora of perks.

And now, a U.S. study reveals that brief mental training sessions can actually slow age-related mental decline and improve overall quality of life.

Following a five-year study that tracked 2,800 Americans aged 65 to 94, there is reason to be optimistic for the future. Researchers from six U.S. institutions discovered the findings after giving seniors a brief series of mental training sessions. The training consisted of 10 one-hour sessions with eight booster sessions for some.

This puts to sleep the fear for some that becoming further educated in new aspects of life fades the older you get. By investing a little bit of effort into learning new and challenging things after the age of 65, performance growth can be seen.

There is no secret that getting out and exercising can help you maintain a physically fit body. The same holds true mentally as there is a lot to come from cognitive training. It does not require hours upon hours of training, but simple short sessions throughout the week can deliver outstanding results.

During memory training in the study, seniors learned four strategies to help improve their memory. First, they were asked to try to remember things on a list by linking it to something meaningful. Next, put the items into categories to simplify the recall process.

The third aspect consisted of visualization. The goal is not to memorize a word, but to create a detailed image of it in your mind. And lastly, link items on a list by associating them into a story of some sorts.

During the reasoning training, seniors learned how to analyze new material while reaching a conclusion about it. During processing training, they sat at computer screens that flashed an image at them and the images became more complex over time.

What researchers found is that seniors who underwent each type of brain training reported less difficulty in performing their day-to-day tasks.

The general consensus of researchers agree that doing something for your brain is far better and important than doing nothing. And with a little bit of hard work here and there throughout the week, mental training can pay off significantly for seniors.