My client “John” is 78 years old. He has been experiencing some cognitive issues lately mostly related to short-term memory.
Genetics CAN be a risk factor for dementia, but research shows exercise and other lifestyle behaviors can reduce risk. Sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass) and osteoporosis are also related to cognition.
Taking into consideration John’s health history, age, and current physical state, I put together a program for him.
In this case, he hadn’t worked out with weights in many years and had a hip replacement. We started with bodyweight and resistance band exercises. The following week, we added in bike intervals. These intervals increase the heart rate, which increases blood flow to the brain, positively affecting cognition and learning.
Finally, I introduced some cognitive training. Our first challenge involved 2 colors. I assigned a place on the floor for each, and also assigned a task for each using a medicine ball. When I called the color, he had to go to the correct place on the floor and then add the correct medicine ball task.
Keep in mind that any novel experience will positively affect cognition. So, our strength training exercises will also be challenging his brain since he likely hasn’t done them before.
Changing the variables once he masters the skills/exercises will keep it fresh, exciting, and challenging.
In order to enhance cognition, play with variables such as duration, intensity, skill, and novelty.
The selection of exercises should be not too easy or too difficult and take into consideration any health issues or physical problems.
Sessions available at St. Louis Park
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