Friday, February 19, 2010

Exercise For Your Brain

Janet writes: Tim has had difficulty in the brain department this week. He has been more forgetful and has needed notes and lists for most things. Now we know why. He has been slacking on his Wii Fit workouts! Here’s an article posted on DNA about the benefits of exercise on brain function for people with MS. According to this research study, MS patients with a higher level of fitness perform better on tests of mental processing speed. It makes sense – more blood to your brain, easier time thinking things through. (Thanks to Kath Ibbetson for posting this link!)

We got the Wii so Tim could do both physical and cognitive exercise at his own pace at home. He can’t handle the fast pace at the Y, and walking isn’t always easy on icy sidewalks. When we exercise regularly, he does pretty well at keeping up with our daily schedule. This week, though, he’s been my chauffer to doctor’s appointments and has been our home remodeling expert as he’s building out our basement. He has had no time or energy for Wii, and the result is a decline in his cognitive status. It's not a permanent thing. He just needs to pump some blood to his brain.

I guess it’s time to get off the couch and back at Wii Fit. Advanced Hula Hoop, here we come!


  1. AWESOME journal! At Patti's care facility, Nintendo Wii is not only popular but frankly used for both physical and mental therapy. Here at home though it is mostly entertainmet unless you can possibly justify 'cow racing' as therapy. :)

    Caregivingly Yours, Patrick

  2. Patrick - This is Janet. I have worked at care facilities where Wii is a regular part of either the activities or therapy program. In the school district where I work, our physical therapists use Wii with their high school students. It's a great tool for both physical and cognitive exercise. I wouldn't underestimate the benefits of cow racing! (It's good for laughs, anyway.)