Find Your Place: Assess Your Rhythm

By the Editors of SilverSneakers |

Your ability to find a beat and move to it can reveal a lot about your brain-body connection.

Can you march at different paces—and can you switch from a moderate beat to a fast one to a slow one? In this video, SilverSneakers fitness expert David Jack explains how this quick, fun test can give you clues about your rhythm and brain-body connection.

You’ll need open space. You may also want to perform this near a wall that you can hold on to if needed. Try the test now, then see what your results mean below. If you’re not able to march in place safely, skip the test, but check out the tips below.

If You Kept Up Pretty Easily

That’s a sign your brain-body connection is strong. If you took the plate-tap challenge or the ankle health test, you saw how well your brain and body work together to move your hands or feet. With this test, you learned how well they work together to help you move in a coordinated manner—from head to toes. Pretty amazing when you think about it, right?

A great way to preserve your rhythm: fitness activities that incorporate music and movement, such as aerobics-based SilverSneakers classes, Zumba, and any type of dancing.

Not a fan of dance? Try interval walks, which mix slower and faster paces of walking, in one workout. You’ll find a handful on the SilverSneakers GO app (free, iOS and Android). Choose Programs then Walking to get started.

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If You Weren’t Able to Keep Up

That’s a sign one or more elements of your fitness may need some attention. The good news: Any type of regular movement helps your brain and cuts your risk of dementia.

To figure out which parts of your fitness you may need to improve, ask yourself a few more questions.

Did you feel energized, strong, and steady on your feet, but out of rhythm? That’s a sign your heart, muscles, and stability are in good shape. Try the tips above to improve your rhythm and hone that brain-body connection.

Did you keep up with the slow and moderate beats, but have difficulty with the fast beat? You may want to improve your cardiovascular fitness.

Did your muscles feel especially challenged? You may want to add strengthening exercises. Try this full-body strength workout for total beginners or this 15-minute total-body chair workout.

Did you feel pain, feel unsteady, or notice a big difference between movement on one side of your body versus the other side? That’s a sign to talk to your doctor, who can help figure out if there’s an underlying issue and the next best steps.

If You Weren’t Able to Take the Test or Have a Chronic Condition

The first thing to remember is physical activity is safe—and beneficial—for almost everyone, according to the latest fitness guidelines. The key is working with your doctor to find the right plan for you.

Start by talking to your doctor about your current health and any medications you take. Ask these three questions:

  • What types of exercise are appropriate for me?
  • How often and how much should I do them?
  • Are there precautions or steps I should take? For example, people with arthritis may need tips to manage pain. People with osteoporosis may need to avoid certain moves.

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