Have you ever forgotten where you’ve placed your car keys? Is brain fog prevalent in your daily life? Are you or a loved one looking for a way to improve mental clarity? Luckily, there are many ways to stimulate the brain to counteract cerebral degeneration. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for executive functions such as flexible thinking, decision making, self control, attention, and memory. Therefore, in order to improve functionality, the brain must be regularly exercised just like your body to maintain or improve its overall function. Reading a book or studying for an exam acts to specifically improve overall knowledge attained by the brain. Similarly, there are exercise programs designed to create the same results for basic brain function.
For example, memory oriented exercises work to facilitate connections between the three parts of memory; Learning, storing, and retrieving information. Therefore, brain exercises targeting memory will require involvement from all aspects whether a participant is required to listen to a sentence and repeat key points or given a pattern to execute based on the provided information. Fortunately, all functions of this modality will incorporate other parameters of executive function to stimulate the prefrontal cortex. As a result, brain health exercises will require individualized problem solving through traits of attention and decision making.
Fumanet is an exercise program designed to integrate measures of attention, memory, decision making, and multitasking through its developed patterns of functionality. Although many individuals may see this exercise as a balanced based intervention, this program requires executive function to complete each repetition. To illustrate, the need for balance to participate in the exercise is only one of 7 skills needed to efficiently complete each pattern. The 7 factors of multitasking include; walking with proper mechanics, keeping caution to avoid stepping on the net, memorizing step patterns, conscious awareness of weight distribution throughout gait pattern, physical coordination of the limbs, attention to surroundings, and proper synchronization with external cues such as music.
For individuals who do not know of Fumanet, it is a low impact exercise program that is facilitated through the use of a net of gridded squares. By using the net on the ground, participants must walk from one side to the other with the initial goal to avoid stepping on the net. A slow pace will eliminate the use of momentum through gait function which enforces recruitment of muscles to support joints of the lower limb.
However, this variable of exercise is very effective in stimulating cognitive skills.
Try this at home, walk in a straight line with big steps, when your left leg strikes the ground clap your hands simultaneously. On the other leg, count up by the number 3 each time the right foot strikes the ground. This example will require a multitasking factor of memorizing which step and number was last called while maintaining adequate attention and decision making to complete the task.
This is one of many multitasking patterns incorporated into the fumanet program. So, if you are interested in finding more ways to stimulate your brain for better cognitive health, join our Fumanet Class at Beach Fitness on Monday, March 28th at 10:00am for a FREE trial of this wonderful class, applicable to all populations!