How do you cut through all the fitness, sports performance, sensory processing and physical education solutions that claim to have a positive effect on the brain and get to the real science behind it all? The fact is, all physical activity is good for the brain. Many clinical studies have demonstrated better cognitive and behavioral performance in those who are physically fit.
But what happens when physical activity also engages multiple senses in order to perform at a higher level? Brain research continues to confirm the concept of neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to change and adapt, even rewire itself, when challenged to do so. Science is also confirming that exercise that simultaneously engages the full body and multiple senses (eyes, ears, feet, hands and vestibular system) requires more complex cognitive function to make decisions and execute skills. Neuroplasticity kicks in, the brain adapts, and performance improves. This is Brain-Body Fitness.
SMART combines six key elements to create a unique, fun, measurable and highly effective integrated multisensory brain-body training experience:
- Multisensory stimulation from interactive multifunctional targets, sounds, balls, balance and other program tools
- Motivation to perform and improve from instant feedback and trackable results
- Real, tactile, resistance and impact based training
- Multiplanar lower body movement over various distances & directions
- Multiplanar upper body functional or sports movements
- Social & Team interaction with other participants
The following white papers explore this in more depth, drawing on a wide range of published articles and research. We hope you enjoy reading them.
Brain-Body Fitness and Neuroplasticity
White Paper: SMART Multisensory Fitness Training: The Science Behind its Brain-Body Integrated Approach and its Effect on Neuroplasticity
When it comes to localizing and tracking moving objects, it is likely that the human brain evolved to develop, learn, and operate optimally in multisensory environments. Thus, multisensory training protocols can better approximate natural settings and are more effective for learning. SMART programs are fitness training products for all ages and ability levels. Visual, auditory, and physical tasks are integrated in performing the motor skills required. These protocols, with their profound and SIMULTANEOUS brain/body stimulation, are the key element that differentiates a functional training program from a general conditioning program. This unique form of exergaming stimulates greater input to the proprioceptors of the motor system, and with it, greater subsequent refinement of movement patterns. The resistance and motor patterns encountered by the use of real sports equipment creates more dynamic neuromuscular control in a functional setting of play. Read more about the SMART Technology behind our solution.
White Paper: SMART Fitness Effects: The Science Behind Its Brain-Body Integration Training For Schools
Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD), which affect children entering public schools from kindergarten, are conservatively estimated at 5.3% and may be as high as 13.7%. In addition, the prevalence of Sensory Over-Responsivity (SOR) in elementary school age children is estimated at 16% according to one study. In any case, this is clearly now a mainstream issue. We have come to discover that movement is essential to promoting neurological development. The lack of natural developmental movements such as months of crawling, or free outdoor exploration and activity, has resulted in a population that increasingly lacks the necessary neurological stimulation. Numerous studies have now revealed the importance of movement to the development of the brain and emotional intelligence….read more about how SMART technology is helping kids learn more effectively while having fun.
White Paper: SMART Sports Performance Training: The Science Behind Its Brain-Body Integrated Approach
When it comes to localizing and tracking moving objects, it is likely that the human brain evolved to develop, learn, and operate optimally in multisensory environments. Thus, multisensory training protocols can better approximate natural settings and are more effective for training athletes… When the brain is engaged by having to make decisions under pressure while playing interactive ball sports, the benefits are enhanced significantly because gross motor skills must be incorporated. Neurons develop only when the player is confronted with a demand for greater efficiency (skill development). As far as the brain is concerned, if you need a skill, you develop it only when you are confronted with the need, and then practice performing it. Read more about Sports performance training with brain-body technology.
Fitness and Childhood Obesity
White Paper: The Science Behind SMART’s Fitness Games for Combating Childhood Obesity
Now called the “childhood obesity epidemic” the prevalence of overweight children and adolescents has increased dramatically over the past several decades. With it comes previously unheard of incidences of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Why not engage them in real sports? The answer is that sports are not universally engaging to children. Dr. Bruce Bailey, Assistant Professor of Exercise Science at Brigham Young University says,”Previously we’ve focused on sports as a way to get children physically active,”but not all of them are interested in organized sports. He adds,”Schools are trying to make their P.E. classes more inclusive to children of different sizes and interests…” read more about how SMART is combating childhood obesity with fitness games.
Boomers & Seniors
White Paper: SMART Fitness Effects: The Science Behind its Brain/ Body Training for Seniors
According to the US Census Bureau, 76 million baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. Every day more than 10,000 baby boomers reach the age of 65. This will continue to happen daily for the next 19 years. In addition, modern medicine, science and technology have brought the majority of diseases and nutritional deficiencies under control, thereby increasing the average life expectancy from 65 to 85 years. The consequence delivers an average of 20 years of leisure time for seniors to spend either having a great active life or suffering from numerous age related conditions that rob them of the joy of their later years. As Dr. Henry Lodge, author of the best-selling book Younger Next Year: a Guide to Living Like 50 until You’re 80 and Beyondstates, “You are likely to live longer whether you want it or not, but how you live those years is largely under your control, which is a good reason to make the last third of your life terrific”. Find out more about SMART’s senior fitness application.