Strengthening Cognitive Function

January 26, 2022 by No Comments

In life, it is sometimes easy to reduce sight of the important things. Exercise isn’t any different and it’s one particular missing links that make up the backbone of our ability to work optimally.

Our Brains and Bodies are Linked

Recent studies from the Department of Psychology at the University of North Florida* show that we can increase our working memory around fifty percent by performing movements and exercises like running barefoot, carrying large and/or awkward objects (farmer’s walk), walking or crawling on a balance beam, and navigating various obstacles.

What is Proprioception and What Role Does it Play in Cognitive Function?

Wikipedia defines proprioception as “the sense of the relative position of neighbouring elements of the human body and strength of effort being employed in movement.” Basically it happens similar to this: proprioceptive training places a sizable demand on our working memory due to continual changes inside our environment and terrain. In order for our neuromuscular systems to keep to perform optimally, we’ve to challenge our brains and bodies with stimuli that are unpredictable and could make us think and react immediately.

Like What?

This may be anything from riding a skateboard psilo delic, bull riding, boxing, wrestling, or simply walking on a curb. Dynamic challenges like this can make us consciously adapt our movements to the changing environment. Fighting styles, dance, and gymnastics are great for proprioceptive enhancement, as they provide movements which are uniquely different and therefore challenge and improve our cognitive abilities. Benefits include reduced danger of injury, increased stability, enhanced speed, quickness, and agility.

Proprioceptive Training and Injury

Proprioceptive training has already been shown to assist in injury rehabilitation. Rehabilitation programs address three degrees of motor control: spinal reflexes, cognitive programming, and brain stem activity. These programs are designed to increase dynamic joint and functional stability.

Once we age, progressive cognitive decline is inevitable. Proprioceptive training has been shown to increase proprioceptive regeneration and cognitive demands in older adults. By performing challenging movements that are unfamiliar to us, we continue to recruit and write new neurological patterns. As with any modification to one’s routine, it is very important that exercises are performed carefully and in a controlled environment to make sure safety and prevent injury.

Tips for Getting Started

So, ensure it is an indicate integrate new movements and exercises into your daily lifestyle by trying some of the methods mentioned previously, in addition to challenging yourself on a regular basis. Like, try putting in your pants and shoes without keeping anything, washing dishes using one leg, or practicing simple movements along with your eyes closed. An over-all guideline to consider is that if something becomes too easy or natural, you cease to challenge your neuromuscular system.

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