One of the next major fitness trends is combined physical-cognitive training. Older adults in the United States and abroad are concerned about staying mentally fit and avoiding old age dementia, while younger populations seek to "outpace" their competitors (sports or business), and now the Benefits more conscious than ever are training your mind and body. Others just want to be able to 'gamify' their exercise programs to make them more entertaining and engaging. Here are just a few fun low-tech ways to start adding cognitive stress to your exercise programs.
Dual-tasking occurs when a person is prompted to perform a physical activity and an unrelated cognitive task at the same time. For example, while counting backward by 7s; Performing repetitions of a resistance exercise naming words beginning with the letter "F"; or solving fundamental math problems while riding a stationary bike. During these activities, the brain is supplied with blood, oxygen, glucose, and other positive neurotrophins that can improve cognitive performance. Several studies show that dual-tasking can improve cognitive performance in some populations, even when cognitive tasks are performed after aerobic exercise (Karssemeijer et al., 201
Exercise Flow Drill
There are many different aspects in memory, including immediate and late retrieval that can be challenged. Identify a sequence of movements or tasks that the person must perform in the same way and in the same order , The movements can be demonstrated verbally or verbally or both. A series can contain three to eight sentences, which can be given at once or build on the previous sequence (as in the classic electronic game "Simon"). The movements can be almost any exercise movement or task.
If you specifically want to work on delayed callbacks, have customers call back a series of moves you've made to them at the beginning of a session. This is a natural extension to any immediate callback requirements that you have already introduced. However, it is important to inform them that they will later be asked to perform the same movements. If you have trouble remembering the movements, give simple hints to awaken their memories. These can be open or multiple-choice tips, such as: B. "Was the next move a lunge, a squat, a jump, or a turn?" One of the options is the right one.
Playing card practice
How fast an individual can receive, process and respond to information. This can be challenged in several ways. A basic example is the arrangement of four differently colored (or numbered) cones in a row in front of a customer. Tell the customer that when calling a color (or number), they should sprint to that cone and return to their starting position as soon as possible. A more advanced version could involve the use of a card game. Arrange four cones in a square pattern and let the customer stand in the middle of the square. Tell him that the two front cones are black cards (spades and cross), while the two rear cones are red cards (heart and diamonds). The right two cones stand for picture cards and the left two cones for numbered cards. When you hold a card from the pile, instruct the customer to quickly run around the correct cone and return to the starting position as quickly as possible. In this case, for example, the customer would have to walk to the right rear cone for the Queen of Diamonds card.
Tasks often require multiple cognitive functions to be used simultaneously. At the Clock Drill, let them imagine being in the center of a dial and making sure they can move in all directions. Call a time and let her head for the clock on that clock, or jump her and return to her starting position as quickly as possible. You can give them one number at a time or three to four at a time, which they must complete in the correct order. Variations include jumping to even numbers with the right foot and jumping to odd numbers with the left foot; only kick with the right or left foot; or perform another move when a specific time is called (eg, perform a jump squat when 12:00 is called). To increase the complexity of this game, customers must all turn 90 degrees to the right, which means that they are now standing on the dial before 3:00. Repeat the game in the same way as before. This becomes much more difficult and requires more time for repetition as the spatial orientation has changed. This exercise can be applied to hearing, memory, reaction time, visual attention (when numbers are displayed), dynamic balance, dual-tasking, coordination, and other variables, depending on the type of exercise.
Take two tennis balls of different colors and throw them to your customer who throws them back. Indicate that a color should only be caught and thrown with the right hand, while the other color should only be caught and thrown with the left hand. Variations include speeding up the exercise; Returning the ball in the same or opposite manner in which it was received (rebound, underhand throw, overhand throw, etc.); Calling a number when the ball is thrown, telling the receiver how to return it (eg even numbers for a jump pass, odd numbers for a roll); and performing a particular movement when a particular color is received (eg, squatting on yellow or jumping on green).
Companies like SmartFit make electronic wall charts and portable electronic targets to challenge both fitness and cognition. The boxes contain small circles of bright colors, shapes, letters, or numbers that evoke a user's reaction, such as the B. the tapping, kicking, hitting or throwing a ball on this circle. The number of ways to integrate cognitive and physical task requirements is almost unlimited.
These are just a few of the low-tech ways to improve cognition with the help of exercise. It is important to remember that this is a rapidly evolving research area and researchers are constantly discovering new insights and exciting directions regarding the complex connection between exercise and cognition, as well as optimal strategies to improve their health.
Would you like to extend your career and learn the science and skills to support a meaningful and lasting change in your lifestyle? Become an ACE Certified Health Coach!
Bamidis, P.D. et al. (2014). An overview of physical and cognitive interventions in aging. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 44, 206220.
Karssemeijer, E.G.A. et al. (2017). Positive effects of combined training with cognitive and physical exercises on cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment and dementia: a meta-analysis . Aging Research Reviews, 40, 7583.