Certain mind-body coordination movements can help your brain heath (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Much like physical health, movement, and exercise are equally essential for mental health. This is where (and why) kinesiology matters. But what is it?

According to content creator Irina Vaysfeld, kinesiology techniques boost health, optimise key mental functions (memory, attention, thinking, speech, hearing, imagination, perception), enhance mental performance, and improve emotional well-being.

Taking a cue from Vaysfeld's Instagram reel featuring the 'elephant exercise to keep the brain healthy', we decided to deep dive into the subject.

Vaysfeld demonstrated the elephant exercise

*Press your ear to your shoulder

*Extend one hand like an elephant's trunk

*Draw a horizontal figure eight

*The eyes follow the movements of the fingertips

"Elephant [exercise] allows you to identify hidden abilities and expand the boundaries of the brain," said Vaysfeld.

Noting it to be an "engaging technique", Dr Vipul Gupta, director of neuro intervention and co-chief of the stroke unit at Artemis Hospital, Gurugram said such techniques help improve brain function. "The combination of cognitive activity with physical movement activates neural connections and fosters neuroplasticity, the brain's capacity for growth and adaptation. The exercise also improves proprioception, balance, and coordination, which improves cognitive function even more," Dr Gupta told indianexpress.com.

Do you move often? (Source: Freepik)

According to Dr Mansi Shah, consultant neurologist, Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders specialist, Wockhardt Hospitals Mira Road, kinesiology is a type of movement therapy that can have numerous benefits for the brain and overall health. "It is based on the idea that the body and mind are interconnected, and that physical movement and exercise can help improve cognitive function, reduce stress, and support emotional well-being," said Dr Shah.

Dr Shah noted another kinesiology exercise that can help keep your brain healthy which is called the Cross-Crawl. This exercise involves crossing the midline of your body, which has been shown to improve communication between the two hemispheres of the brain.

The Cross-Crawl exercise is easy to perform and can be done anywhere, with no equipment required. Dr Shah listed down the steps:

*Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms relaxed at your sides.

*Lift your right knee and bring it towards your chest.

*As you lift your knee, simultaneously reach across your body with your left arm and touch your right knee.

*Lower your right leg and return to the starting position.

*Repeat the exercise on the opposite side, lifting your left knee and touching it with your right arm.

*Alternate between the right and left sides, performing the exercise for several repetitions.

In addition to improving communication between the brain hemispheres, the Cross-Crawl exercise can also help improve balance, coordination, and posture. "It can also reduce stress and tension in the body, which can have a positive impact on overall health," Dr Shah elucidated.

Dr Shah added that exercises like the Cross-Crawl can improve cognitive function and may even help prevent cognitive decline associated with ageing. "By engaging both the mind and body, movement therapies like kinesiology can support brain health and overall well-being," said Dr Shah. "It also enhances cardiovascular health. Adopting holistic methods such as these ensures a better mind-body connection for people of all ages and enhances general well-being," added Dr Gupta.

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So, what are you waiting for? If you're looking for a simple and effective way to support your brain health, consider such exercises in your daily routine. "Whether you're at home, at work, or on the go, this exercise can help keep your mind and body in top shape," said Dr Shah.

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2024-04-17T14:08:40Z dg43tfdfdgfd