Aging Well: BrainFit program helps keep memory sharp
Niu Valley, Hawaii - Keep forgetting where you put your car keys? Or what's on your shopping list? There's a new program, Brain Fit, designed to help you improve your memory. "
Honolulu seniors Robin Chow and Anita Racuya are here today to exercise their brains. They signed up together for a program that promises to work their minds. "I have memory problems remembering to do lists, shopping lists, errand lists and I need to write everything down otherwise I forget," explains Chow, who is in her 60s.
That's where OrthoSport Hawaii comes in. It's a medical fitness center that offers physical therapy to help parts of the body recover or strengthen. That includes your brain.
Owner Dr. Mike Turner describes, "Brain Fit is a program we developed here at OrthoSport Hawaii to enhance the function of your brain by adding in specific types of exercise, both and specific physical exercise. All parts of the human body age over time, and this includes your brain."
Trainers teach clients about lifestyle factors that affect brain health, including tips on nutrition, sleep quality, stress management, and other factors customized to each client's specific situation.
Then they literally give the grey matter a workout. The client gets on the treadmill and for about 15 minutes, walks at their target heart rate. Then, the trainer comes along to stretch their brain, starting with questions like:
Starting with our current vice president, go backwards naming the rest of the vice presidents.
Name all the sports that don't use a ball.
Name as many countries in Asia as you can.
The idea is, playing mind games while doing aerobic exercise is the best way to work your brain. "Studies have shown that that properly structured aerobic exercise results in an increase in Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor, or BDNF, a protein that promotes neuron health and plays an active role in areas of the brain vital to such functions as learning, memory, and higher thinking," details Dr. Turner.
Who is it targeted to? People with a family history of dementia, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's or depression; people experiencing a decline in cognitive function, attention or emotional stability related to age, menopause, post-chemo or surgery, depression, PTSD, or mild head injury; or anyone who wants to simply stay sharp. Dr. Turner says people should see results after three months.
Chow says a gym routine that firms up her mind and her body at the same time is a no brainer.
To learn more about BrainFit, call OrthoSport Hawaii at (808) 373-1114 or visit Orthosport.com.