Exercise Tip: As you walk outside or in place count. Does your balance and walking improve? Or listen to music or poetry read outloud as you walk. What changes?
A recent study looked at the effects of rhythmic auditory stimulation on gait or walking behavior in 14 adolescents with acquired brain injury. Data collected included the dynamic motions of joints on three-dimensional planes during a gait cycle and the range of motion in each joint. Researchers noted, "Significant group differences were observed in cadence, walking velocity, and step time, indicating that there were greater improvements in those parameters in the rhythmic auditory stimulation group compared with the control group. Significant increases in hip and knee motions in the sagittal plane [hip flexion and extension] were also observed in the rhythmic auditory stimulation group." (Kim, S. J., Y. K. Shin, et al. (2016). "Changes in gait patterns induced by rhythmic auditory stimulation for adolescents with acquired brain injury." Ann N Y Acad Sci 1385(1): 53-62).
The research indicates that attention to the rhythmical nature of our lives may help improve our ability to walk as well as the range of motion of joints. Many people with brain health issues find walking more successful when they count out loud or to themselves. This is a way to pay attention to the rhythm or cadence of walking. Think about your own walking does it improve if you sing a song or count or listen to music?
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Burnham, Kimberly (2017 01 01). "Balancing the Brain with Rhythmical Poetry and Movement." ABI Magazine, Acquired Brain Injury https://abimagazine.wordpress.com/
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