Why Are We Ashamed to Exercise Our Minds? 

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Why Are We Ashamed to Exercise Our Minds?

Why are we ashamed to exercise our minds?  We are proud to tell people we work out, eat healthy, or ran a 5K. Many seniors regularly participate in the exercise programs offered within their communities ~ tai chi, yoga, and more.  It makes sense because we understand the importance of keeping our bodies strong and healthy.

But in America, we seem to be ashamed to admit that we need to exercise our minds. Despite all the research that supports the efficacy of cognitive stimulation therapy. Volumes of research exists but two notable studies to consider include Gates & Valenzuela, 2010,  “Regular use of CST encourages individuals to higher levels of mental activity thereby reducing their risk of developing dementia.”  And, Bottino et al, 2005; Matsuda et al 2010, “CST can be used to stabilize or even improve the cognitive functioning of individuals suffering from mild Alzheimer’s disease.”

I assessed a lovely, independent living senior the other day. She was educated, lived in a beautiful apartment overlooking the ocean but had realized that she was becoming less active, forgetting more and reading less. Her doctor had recommended Fit Minds.

one on one cognitive coaching

After a lovely discussion with her, where she asked great questions, she wanted to jump right in and she participated in her first session. She has now officially signed up for cognitive coaching two times per week. She is enthusiastic about it but is very concerned about her privacy.  She doesn’t want anyone in the community to know she is getting Fit Minds’ Personal Trainer for the Mind program. This attitude of feeling a stigma if one gets cognitive coaching is fairly common among seniors. I hope that as Fit Minds grows to impact more seniors and senior living communities in the United States, as it has done in Canada, that this attitude will change.

If you had great abdominal muscles, wouldn’t you be proud to say, “I have a personal trainer!”  I hope someday seniors say with pride “I have a Personal Trainer for the Mind!”  Preserving our mental capabilities should be something we are proud of and not ashamed to admit.

– Janet

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