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Backward Walking can be a panacea to prevent some of our old age problems

Updated: Jun 21


I am not an expert in Neurobics. But, so far memory loss is concerned, I got some benefit. Hence, I thought some of my thoughts so that we, the senior citizens, can slow down the process of dementia to a significant extent. The experts may be unsure of the desired benefits of such activities to individuals but it is agreed that any growth comes out of comfort zone. Please note that information provided in this piece of article is the result of my personal study.

I have seen many long distance runners walking backwards. One day, I saw one of my acquaintances, say Anamika by name, also walking backwards. It made me curious to study more on this. And this casual study took me to the world of Neurobics. Let me share some of this knowledge:

Let me start with a basic question,

  • “What neurobic is?”

Neurobics (neuron + aerobics) are stretching exercises to increase oxygen and give our brain's neurons more life by experiencing or participating in some new activity, situation, or event. When we stretch our mind, it never returns to its previous shape. Research indicates that taxing the brain (making it ‘sweat’) with unfamiliar exercises can improve our ability to learn, remember, and solve problems.

In simple word, Neurobics are nothing but stimulating exercises. It is a form of brain exercise designed to help keep the brain healthy and active. This exercise is distinct from other types of brain exercises. It involves non-routine or unexpected experiences using various combinations of the five physical and emotional senses. These are mental activities and cognitive exercises that stimulate the brain, prevent memory loss, and improve memory recall.

Just as physical exercise stimulates the muscles, so the muscle of the brain is stimulated with neurobic exercise. Dr Lawrence Katz, a former Duke University professor of neurobiology, is said to be the father of “neurobics” (yes, meaning aerobics for your neurons). Aerobics means “living in air” or, more scientifically, being able to supply enough oxygen to support increased aerobic cellular metabolism during exercise. Previous studies have explored the potential benefit of neurobic exercise.

The next question is,

  • “Is it really important to do these exercises?”

The blunt answer is “Yes, of course!” In fact, neurobic exercise can stimulate other parts of the brain, help prevent the decline in memory performance, and maintain a continuing level of memory performance (Katz & Rubin, 1999). Exercising our mind helps us be our mental best now while it protects against future memory loss and cognitive decline.

Personal growth and brain growth happen outside our comfort zone. Great thinkers and doers are well- rounded and well-read and take part in a variety of activities. They constantly strive to experience new sources of enlightenment by pushing boundaries, making new connections, and seeing themselves and the world in new ways. Neurobic exercises help motivate us to take risks and step into areas where we have been afraid to expand our minds and grow intellectually and emotionally.

  • But does it really work?

Researchers aren't 100% sure. Training improves skills on some tasks, but it's still uncertain if those results transfer to everyday life. However, there's certainly no harm in using cognitive training to stay engaged, focused, and mentally active. Physical activity can help you think, learn, problem-solve, and enjoy an emotional balance. It can improve memory and reduce anxiety or depression. Regular physical activity can also reduce your risk of cognitive decline, including dementia.

More of less, almost all of us, knowingly or unknowingly, doing some exercises, which are quite similar. However neurobics are some specially designed exercises, which can effectively stimulate the brain.

  1. Switch Hands. If you are right-handed, try using your left hand to do things like brushing your teeth, eating, and using your computer mouse. ...

  2. Eat with Chopsticks. ...

  3. Do Chores with Your Eyes Closed. ...

  4. Do Things Upside Down or Backwards. ...

  5. Read Books Aloud. ...

  6. Take New Routes. ...

  7. Simultaneously Use All Your Senses. ...

  8. Try New Things.

Though you can’t expect to get all of the following benefits from any one activity, brain exercise is reported to help in all these areas:

  • less stress

  • better memory

  • more positive mood

  • increased focus and concentration

  • boost in motivation and productivity

  • enhanced fluid intelligence, creativity, and mental flexibility

  • faster thinking and reaction time

  • greater self-confidence

  • sharper vision and hearing

Let’s review some of the best activities that have repeatedly been proven to support cognitive and mental health. Remember, these and any good brain exercises are novel and complex.

Let’s now throw some light on –

  • Backward Walking.

What I understand from my study is - walking backward is proposed to engage different muscles and improve coordination. Hence, it may help to enhance cognitive function, memory, and focus. It is said to have potential mental health benefits. Some research shows that backward walking not only increase muscle activation but enhance brain wave activity. Hence, it shall be considered an excellent neurobic exercise.


Beside all other health benefits, “Walking Backward” has an enormous potential to slowdown the aging process of the brain by preventing memory loss, and improving memory recall.

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