Aging is a normal process within society and advancements in technology and medicine are resulting in an increasing longevity within the population. Gait slowing and cognitive decline are both common in older people. Gait and cognition are controlled by brain circuits that are vulnerable to multiple age related pathologies. Gait speed is a screening measure reflective of both physical and cognitive function. Motor impairments, including gait slowing and disorders, are increasingly common with advancing age and have been identified as risk factors for the development of cognitive decline.
Recently increasing evidence indicates that gait slowing occurs early in the course of dementia and may precede declines in cognitive tests. Gait impairments have been associated with an increased risk of falls and immobility which contributes to greater disability. Cognitive decline is another risk factor for falls; there is a direct relationship between cognitive impairment severity and gait abnormalities on functional independence.
These associations between cognitive impairment and gait abnormalities on functional independence have received increasing attention in the last decade as the population of older adults rapidly expands.
Signs and Symptoms
Increase number of falls
Changes in walking pace
Decline in balance
Stooped posture (kyphosis)
The Effects of Exercise on Symptoms
Exercise management and prevention programs for age related cognitive and gait decline look at the effects of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Intrinsic factors which consist of sensory decline, muscle weakness, biomechanical anatomy and function and impaired balance, and extrinsic factors which include foot wear, environmental hazards and special awareness.
The general components and benefits of the interventions include improved static and dynamic balance and gait training, building of balance confidence, increased appropriate vision and vestibular awareness, increased muscle strength, improved posture, improved mindset and confidence and improved body segment alignment and activation.
By improving the above components of gait, it allows the individual to regain independence and confidence in their everyday activities of daily living. They will have less dependence on family members and/or support members to complete tasks day to day.
Age Related Cognitive and Gait Decline and The Thrive Clinic
At The Exercise Therapist, we have developed a program that combines mindfulness practice, cognitive training, and high intensity interval training. These are three modalities that have proven to reduce symptoms of age related cognitive and gait decline, reduce visceral dorsal fat, improve cognitive functions and decision making relating to mediation and exercise. Mindfulness-based interventions aimed at reducing psychological symptoms of distress and enhancements of quality of life are increasingly applied and popular in a variety of settings. These interventions are aimed at the cultivation of an open-minded and non-judgemental awareness of whatever is happening at each successive moment of perception.
The Thrive Clinic involves an 8-12 week program, where the client can choose between two or three sessions per week depending on the severity of their symptoms. The program will reduce the symptoms of age related cognitive and gait decline, and improve overall cognitive function and cardiovascular fitness through the combination of mindfulness mediation and HIIT. We have already had fantastic results with current clients showing improvements both mentally and physically, just halfway through the program.
If you are interested in this program please contact the clinic on 9385 1430 or register your details in the contact form below.
Terms and Conditions - Any exercise program is not without risk and this or any other exercise program may result in injury, serious illness or even death. The risks are higher when you have a pre-existing medical condition or have not exercised for some time. You are responsible for seeking appropriate medical advice before commencing this program. The Exercise Therapist and Elite Health Management disclaims all liability from all in connection with your use of the programs, videos, and seminars or whether or not The Exercise Therapist or Elite Health Management is negligent. If you have commenced an exercise activity in accordance with this program and at any point during your workout you begin to feel faint, dizzy or physical discomfort, you should stop immediately and consult a doctor.