When Einstein donated his brain for research it was discovered, surprisingly, that he had an average amount of grey matter. However, he had much more than average white matter (myelin) and, many more neuron connections. It is only recently that we have come to understand the importance of this finding to human health.
The key to performing well physically and cognitively lies in the health of our neurons. Physical training, whether for general health and movement, for high performance sports, or for post-injury rehabilitation, requires the development of healthy, permanent neurons. Having well-developed muscles, good cardio capability and high intelligence also requires that the electrical system to pull all of this together for use in daily life must be in optimal condition.
The Nobel Prize winning Hebbian Theory (2011) is based on the principle of “Neurons that fire together wire together”and recent research is focusing on what makes for healthy, permanent neurons that are resistant to damage or loss. Put simply, a healthy neuron needs a strong shield or sheath to function like a superhighway and maintain permanence. This shield or sheath is called myelin. The thicker the myelin sheath, the more permanent and more efficient the neurons. In addition, healthy groups of neurons must have high levels of connectivity.
The more neurons are developed concurrently through multiple levels of simultaneous stimulation, the greater the connectivity they will have: neurons that fire together wire together. It makes sense that exercise programs should include this as a major focus if we are to make a contribution to reversing the shortfall caused by the trend to inactivity which has resulted in numerous neurological based illnesses which now affect all demographic groups.
Today, we are understanding how critical it is to maintain healthy neurons by ensuring that they are protected with strong myelin sheaths. This is where SMARTfit excels as a fitness program that emphasizes the development of healthy, well shielded neurons.
SMARTfit technology, focuses on providing a multisensory approach to exercise by simultaneously calling on the hands, feet, eyes, ears, vestibular, and proprioceptors while delivering cardio and brain training games. This is all accomplished with game technology using time and score to ignite engagement, the key ingredient to kicking off the need for the brain and neurological system to create new neurons.
Without engagement and desire to improve/learn, new neurons will not be created or strengthened. Talent is born and created through engagement, deep practice and master coaching. SMARTfit is the best tool to accomplish this fast and in a controlled and scalable way.
With SMARTfit™ participants play cognitive games while running, playing ball, balancing, and doing core stabilizing exercises. They can play alone, with an opponent, or on a team, learning to think under pressure, applying strategy and technique while managing footwork, balance, ball control, speed and agility, all while having fun.
Alphanumeric targets displaying colors, numbers, letters or symbols drive cognitive games such as Chase the Alphabet forward and backward, Find Smiley, Tackle the Number Sequence, Counting Forward and Backward, Lights Out Race, Memory, Rallywall, Action Math, and Symbols and Shapes. Touch sensitive targets are triggered by striking/touching them with a hand, foot, ball, bat, bean bag, or hand weight, creating a unique and highly stimulating environment for producing rapid training in cognitive speed, neurological and physical fitness.
SMARTfit™ delivers the world’s most versatile fitness, education and sports training systems uniquely promoting neuroplasticity and neurogenesis by enhancing the brain-body connection by:
- Motivating users with play based computer games that call on input from the hands, feet, eyes, and ears
- Challenging the brain to process efficiently while directing the body to execute cognitively and physically accurate inputs to achieve score
- Integrating action-based learning for mental arithmetic, math, language skills and music
- Motivates repeat play and consequential mastery of skills by tracking scores
Here’s a more detailed look at the technological and programming features and benefits of SMARTfit™.
Benefits – Physical
Fitness – Cardiovascular, strength, aerobic, anaerobic, functional, core strength, balance, flexibility & range of motion
Sports – Throwing, catching, kicking, tracking, conditioning, accuracy, placement, footwork, ball speed and control, quickness, speed and agility
Benefits – Neural and Cognitive
Proprioception, vestibular control, hand-foot-eye coordination, brain plasticity – “Miracle Grow for the brain”, cognitive agility, motor coordination and reaction skills, neural system repair, attention and focus, memory, problem solving, speed, accuracy and reaction timing, decision making under pressure and “in-the-now” training (zone training).
Benefits – Social and Behavioral
Promotes social interaction through team play, enjoyment, team building, cooperation, inclusion, competition (self and others), social development, goal setting, peer respect, discipline and self control, confidence and self-esteem.
SMARTfit™ programming engages users in a wide variety of physical and mental challenges requiring high levels of focus, concentration and skills for multiple populations – from pre-schoolers to performance athletes to seniors.
How it Works
Players use visual and auditory cues to hit randomly or sequentially moving targets with hands, feet, beanbags, foam noodles, and playground, medicine or sports balls, working individually or as teams to achieve their best score. Score accumulates with each new target hit as the clock counts down.
Integrated Brain- Body Training
SMARTfit combines four features to create a unique Integrated Brain-Body Training experience: 1) real, tactile, resistance and impact based training, 2) multiplanar lower body movement over various distances, 3) multiplanar upper body functional and sports movement and 4) brain stimulation from direct interaction with targets, sounds, programmed environment and other participants.
The new features articulated above can be set to stimulate specific hemispheres of the brain. When a person practices at a higher level than their comfort zone, the neurological system naturally starts rewiring to adapt to the greater demand. When this demand coincides with the release of BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotropic Factors) during aerobic exercise, the entire process is accelerated.
Multichannel, high fidelity sound allows for sound mixing to achieve customizable levels of auditory input specifically designed to stimulate whole brain thinking and re-wiring. Sound banks have multiple options for different user groups.
Attentive Auditory Training
Audio cues increase the multisensory training experience and brain-body benefits. Audio cues recorded in 424 Hz and 432 Hz are specifically designed for individuals with noise sensitivity and sensory processing disorders. For sports performance training, crowd noises can be introduced to train athletes to focus on ball play while selectively tuning out distractions. Play Tune games teach users to recognize and memorize musical notes.
For all games, a time clock can be set from 10 seconds to 10 minutes depending on group size, fitness level, type of game, and player expertise.
Our online program library of fitness and sports games, drills, and classes for multiple demographic groups is available to all customers.