Believe it or not residents at Broadmeade Senior Living are in an aerobics class but this one isn't for the body. It’s for the brain.
Chuck Warnke says, "It's a cognitive stimulation exercise program that works on stimulating the brain. Normal healthy aging brains need to have stimulation to be as sharp as they were." Once a week the group comes together with Chuck, their Speech Pathologist who developed the program, to do puzzles, and memory and word games, most of them timed, to challenge their brains to think in a new way.
Chuck says, “Really what it does is all the different parts of the cognitive processing comes from different parts of the brain and really you want to increase blood flow to those parts of the brain." The exercises help mainly the seniors short term memory. Helping them to remember things like taking their medicine and helping their word recall, according to Chuck.
The students in the class say they've really noticed a difference. Juen Gee, Brain Aerobics Student says, “To me I'm remembering things better and the short term memory is the first to go and my short term memory has improved." Another aerobics student, Adele Free says, “Maybe it is that i have more confidence in what I'm going to say when I speak to others."
Chuck says exercising the brain is just as vital to a senior's health as regular physical exercise and the two together can lead to a longer more fulfilling life. The students have also found the class is fun. They enjoy taking the tests and have found great camaraderie with their classmates.
"It’s not how many you get right or how many you get wrong it’s the fact that you're doing things to help our brain. You're with your friends and if you make a mistake we all laugh at our mistakes," according to Juen Gee.