Efficacy of Brain Gym Training on the Cognitive Performance and Fitness Level of Active Older Adults: A Preliminary Study

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José M. Cancela
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M Helena Vila Suárez,
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Jamine Vasconcelos
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Ana Lima
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Carlos Ayán
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This study evaluates the impact of Brain Gym (BG) training in active older adults. Eighty-five participants were assigned to four training groups: BG (n = 18), BG plus water-based exercise (n = 18), land-based exercise (n = 30), and land plus water-based exercise (n = 19). The effects of the programs on the attention and memory functions were assessed by means of the symbol digit modality test. The two-min step and the eight-foot up-and-go tests were used to evaluate their impact on fitness level. No program had a significant influence on the participant’s cognitive performance, while different effects on the sample’ fitness levels were observed. These findings suggest that the effects of BG on the cognitive performance and fitness level of active older adults are similar to those obtained after the practice of a traditional exercise program. Whether BG is performed in isolation or combined with other exercise programs seems to have no influence on such effects.

Cancela, Vila Suárez, and Ayán are with the Faculty of Education and Sports Science, University of Vigo, Pontevedra, Spain. Vasconcelos and Lima are with the HealthyFit Research Group, University of Vigo, Pontevedra, Spain.

Address author correspondence to Ma Helena Vila Suárez at evila@uvigo.es.
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