America’s greatest generation is getting older. Every day more more than 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 years old. But just because Boomers are aging, doesn’t mean they have to stop having fun and engaging in proper exercise. Boomers helped popularize exercise in this country, and they did so by making working out an enjoyable, social activity. SMARTfit™ systems are ideal for group exercise classes at any facility, and capture a key social component that other equipment and technology does not.
Studies have shown that physical activity that also engages the brain reduces the progression to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and improves executive function better than traditional exercise.
SMARTfit™ can be used to increase upper extremity active range of motion and coordination, muscular and physical endurance and improve motor planning.
SMARTfit’s™ neuroscience-based programming concurrently triggers sensory and motor pathways, building and strengthening new brain connections by simultaneously engaging the whole body and multiple senses.
SMARTfit’s™ unique combination of enjoyable, safe and ability-scaled physical activity, multisensory cognitive stimulation and social engagement provides a perfect foundation for any boomer and senior brain and body fitness program.
A literature review uncovered 22 studies that looked at the effects of game play by older adults. Analysis showed that playing the games had positive effects, including improving physical function, decreasing depression, and increasing cognition and quality of life. Some older adults reported improvements in socializing and willingness to exercise.
The concept of neuroplasticity and neurogenesis (the ability to re-grow and repair neurological pathways in the brain through stimulus), has evolved from hypothesis to accepted science.
Balance is our ability and process how we control our body’s center of mass with respect to base of support, whether it is stationary or moving.
SMARTfit™ programming influences and refines both the anticipatory and reactive postural control of seniors by incorporating both static and dynamic balance activities. These activities include reaching, lifting, pushing, pulling and change of direction, thereby mimicking the senior’s physical requirements for normal activities of daily living. The progressive style active/reactive physical gaming promotes the senior’s ability to adapt to movement patterns quickly and accommodate to a changing environment.
Results of cross sectional, correlational and interventional studies all support the fitness-cognition relationship. Games/drills involving a high level of attention, movement, change of direction and speed help to:
• Increase processing speed
• Increase controlled processing (cognitive tasks that start by requiring controlled, effortful processes but that can be processed automatically through practice)
• Increase execution control (planning, scheduling, coordination and inhibition of working memory functions of the brain)
Applications – Visual and auditory processing and discrimination, visual motor integration, vestibular and proprioceptive input, cognitive training, fall prevention and rehabilitation, ocular motor training, stroke rehabilitation, all aspects of sensory processing skills, perceptual motor skills including visual and auditory processing and sequencing, balance and postural control. Games for sequencing, memory and discrimination.