Nordic
Pole
Walking

Memory

Memory Care Home Exercises

CROSS CRAWL

“You are only old if you don’t learn new tricks”

Various cross crawl exercises are a way to reprogram the nervous system, spinal muscles and various systems to work optimally together.

Humans are contralateral beings in reference to their neurological organization. The automatic sequencing of upright muscle movement (walking and running) is meant to be always coordinated the same way. That is the right arm goes forward, the left leg will do the same and when the left arm goes forward, the right leg will do the same. This is what is meant by a contralateral (cross pattern) neurological organization.

These are learned processes. They start to be learned by crawling on the ground as an infant. They are further developed by learning to walk and run, and by various games that children play. The complex patterns of which are stored in the nerve messaging patterns of the cerebral cortex, the cerebellum and spinal and peripheral nerves. These manage the switch on – switch off co-ordination of the muscles of locomotion, posture and corrective activity to maintain balance.

When you start new exercise patterns, what the nervous system does is it builds new connections. Nerves are NOT inanimate wires that transfer electrochemical signals. They are alive and they form new connections.

Wes Youngberg, DrPH

With over 25 years of clinical experience empowering clients to use integrative therapies to prevent and reverse serious health conditions, he is also the author of Goodbye Diabetes and Hello Healthy. He trained at Loma Linda University, earning a doctor of public health degree in clinical preventative care and a master of public health degree in nutrition. Dr. Youngberg is also a certified nutrition specialist and a founding director and fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

As you Nordic Walk more, you create and grow a stronger series of connections. They become more active with use. In fact if you don’t use nerves, and they don’t get a minimal amount of stimulus, they die. This brings home the old saying “if you don’t use it you lose it”. The bit you lose is the nerve that activates the tissue. If the nerve dies off then the body part connected to that nerve either won’t work well or if enough nerves die off, it won’t work at all.

There is another saying. “The more you use it the more you get it back”.

This is the reason why athletes, swimmers, musicians, gymnasts spend so much time “practicing”. What they are doing is ensuring they have the most nerve connections and function around the skills that they want to perform at their peak. We can all switch on more control and more function too. We do this by exercising. In this case we would do it with  “Nordic Pole Walking” witch creates a cross crawl patterning with every step, we rebuild and reset nerve function. We regain stability

Exercise Improves Memory

Nordic Walking Improves Memory

Resistance / Strength training
key in preventing
Alzheimer’s & Dementia

It’s well-known that exercising to maintain a healthy heart also helps create a healthy mind.  But several new studies suggest that when it comes to preventing dementia, not all forms of exercise are created equal.

Studies presented at this year’s Alzheimer’s Association International Conference found that resistance training was particularly beneficial for improving the cognitive abilities of older adults.

While the studies were small, all including 150 participants or less, they did seemed to indicate that resistance training – such as weight lifting or using resistance bands – could possibly be an intervention for dementia in older adults.

One study divided a group of 86 women, all between the ages of 70 and 80, into three different exercise groups: Weight lifting, walking, or balance and tone exercises.  Each group did the exercises twice a week for 6 months.

Everyone appeared to benefit from the exercise.

“We actually imaged their brains, using functional MRIs – and these people showed better brain function,” explained lead investigator, Dr. Teresa Liu Ambrose.

Participants were tested for cognitive executive functions such as attention, memory and planning. According to Ambrose, “the cognitive executive function and associated memory – those are the two traits most linked to dementia.”

Ambrose, who is the director of the Aging, Mobility, and Cognitive Neuroscience lab at the University of British Columbia, tells CNN: “We accept that exercise is the golden bullet – but we need to identify who might benefit the most from what exercise.”

“It’s definitely one of the first times resistance training has been looked at in connection with Alzheimer’s. And we’ve seen in that body of literature that people who do resistance training increase their ability to be more mobile, but it may have some other benefits,” said Heather Snyder of the Alzheimer’s Association.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s today. It’s the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. By 2050, that number of people with Alzheimer’s in the United States is expected to nearly triple to 16 million. The cost of caring for all those people is estimated to top $1 trillion dollars each year.

Which is why early detection is so key.

Several studies released at the convention pointed to the effectiveness of gait measurement as a predictor for dementia.

Falling has already been identified as one of the early indicator’s of Alzheimer’s, but several new studies show that how we walk may also be an early sign for a decline in cognitive function.

Three studies, presented at the conference, surveyed more than 1,000 people each – the largest of their kind – and all found that slower and irregular gait was associated with some cognitive impairment.

But many researchers, including neurologist, Dr. Lisa Silbert, of the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon, warned it wasn’t a diagnosis.

“Some degree of motor slowing is also likely a part of the aging process.”

Dr. Rodolfo Savica, of the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, was the lead author of one the large gait studies.  His team of researchers measured gait and stride in more 1,400 participants, including those who were cognitively normal as well as those diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment and dementia.

Participants had their gait measured at least twice at 15 month intervals. Overall, those people who demonstrated slower and more irregular gaits over time demonstrated some cognitive decline.

And gait changes may not only be an indicator – but a predictor. According to Savica: “In our study we were seeing that some people were getting gait changes, before any other cognitive decline.”

Savica cautions that “the studies are still preliminary”, but he’s also optimistic about the use of gait measurements as a tool.

Snyder agrees, telling CNN: “It’s a cheap and inexpensive way that we can monitor how a person may be changing and identifying a person who can go for further evaluation. It’s not a diagnostic, but it’s something a doctor can do anywhere, just by watching someone watching walk and see any changes.”

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