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Brain Aerobics

10:38 AM, Jan 31, 2013   |    comments
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Have you ever wandered around the parking lot because you forgot where you parked?
it's happened to the best of us!
but what if there was a way to improve your memory?
we're used to hitting the gym to get in shape... but some say you can actually *train your *brain in a similar way.
NBC's Kim Dacey visited seniors taking part in an innovative new class... designed to keep aging minds sharp.

believe it or not... residents at broadmeade senior living are in an aerobics class.  but this one isn't for the body... its for the brain.

chuck warnke, speech pathologist: "it's a cognitive stimulation exercise program that works on stimulating the brain... normal healthy aging brains need to have stimulation to be as sharp as they were."

once a week the group comes together with chuck, their speech pathologist who developed the program... to do puzzles, memory and word games... most of them timed... to challenge their brains to think in a new way.

chuck warnke, speech pathologist: "really what it does is all the different parts of the cognitive processing comes from different parts of the brain and really you want to increase blood flow to those parts of the brain."

chuck says the exercises help mainly the seniors short term memory... helping them to remember things like taking their medicine and helping their word recall.

the students in the class say they've really noticed a difference.

june gee, brain aerobics student: "to me i'm remembering things better and the short term memory is the first to go and my short term memory has improved."

adele free, brain aerobics student: "maybe it is that i have more confidence in what i'm going to say when i speak to others."

chuck says exercising the brain is just as vital to a senior's health as regular physical exercise... and the two together can lead to a longer... more fulfilling life.

the students have also found the class is fun. they enjoy taking the tests and have found great camaraderie with their classmates.

june gee, brain aerobics student: "its not how many you get right or how many you get wrong its the fact that you're doing things to help our brain. you're with your friends and if you make a mistake we all laugh at our mistakes."

brain training is also big business.

websites are part of a growing industry that's estimated to be worth more than three billion dollars by 20-15.

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