How Brain Exercises Help Your Body

Brain full of numbers. Memory loss.We have posted several times before on how brain exercises may help with memory, and the following studies show that they may also help to improve your physical balance. Read on to learn more, and thanks for visiting us at Advocare. We provide geriatric care management to area South Florida residents of Jupiter, North Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens and Palm Beach Island. 

Brain exercises may be just as good for your balance as for your mental acuity, according to two recent studies.

Previous research has shown that physical exercise benefits the brain, but this is among the first research to show that exercise works in the other direction: Training the brain has direct benefits for the body. “It’s cool to see research that closes the loop in the other direction,” says Henry Mahnke, CEO of Posit Science, which designed the cognitive training games used in the study. “We hope [research like this] will help people take care of their brains the way they take care of their bodies.”

The studies, one published in The Journal of Gerontology and one pending publication in Health Education & Behavior, found that just 20 to 30 hours of cognitive training could help older adults maintain or improve their balance, increase their gait speed and reduce their fall risk — a significant set of findings considering the real-world impact of falls.

Even when adults fall and are not injured, they can develop a fear of falling and they often limit their activities as a result. This can cause a further erosion of physical fitness and mobility, which, notes the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “increases their actual risk of falling.”

“Older adults fear slowing down the most,” says Fredric Wolinsky, health management and policy department chair at the University of Iowa. “If you can help people slow down less, they will be happier.”

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