top of page

Infinity Walk the low-impact exercise for many older adults

Infinity walk

The Infinity Walk method was developed by clinical psychologist Deborah Sunbeck in the 1980s. Sunbeck initially developed the technique to help her own physical coordination and mental focus while playing the marimba. She then started to use this method in her clinical practice, particularly with individuals who had cognitive and physical coordination challenges.

The Infinity Walk involves walking in a pattern that looks like the number 8 or the infinity symbol while simultaneously focusing on an external point of reference. The complexity of the task can be gradually increased over time, with the individual taking on additional cognitive tasks as they walk.

Sunbeck's Infinity Walk has since been utilized in various therapeutic, educational, and training contexts. The method has been adopted and adapted by professionals in fields as diverse as physical and occupational therapy, special education, neurodevelopment, sports training, and even business coaching. Its application ranges from helping children with learning and developmental disorders to assisting athletes in improving their performance.

As a therapeutic technique, Infinity Walk incorporates principles from numerous fields including neuropsychology, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. This integrative approach means it can be adapted to suit a wide variety of needs and abilities.

However, the current widespread use of the Infinity Walk across various fields and disciplines was not immediate. It took years of clinical experience, research, and refinement to develop it into the versatile technique it is today. The Infinity Walk, or Figure 8 Walk, can indeed contribute to healthy aging, although it's important to note that no exercise can completely halt the natural process of aging. However, physical activity and cognitive exercises can help maintain function and slow the onset of age-related decline. Here's how the Infinity Walk can support anti-aging:

Physical Health: Regular physical activity like walking helps maintain a healthy weight, strengthen muscles and bones, improve heart health, and enhance overall fitness. This is vital for older adults because it can help prevent various chronic diseases and improve mobility and balance.

Brain Health: The Infinity Walk requires not just physical activity, but also a level of cognitive engagement, as the walker must continuously change direction and focus on the pattern of the figure eight. This can stimulate the brain and support cognitive functions like attention, coordination, and spatial awareness, which are often areas of decline in older adults.

Balance and Coordination: As mentioned earlier, walking in a figure-eight pattern helps improve balance and coordination, which can decline with age. Maintaining balance and coordination can reduce the risk of falls, a common issue in the elderly that can lead to severe injuries.

Mental Health: Regular physical activity like the Infinity Walk can help reduce the risk of depression and anxiety, improve mood, and promote better sleep. These are all significant for mental health, which is an important aspect of aging well.

Social Engagement: If performed in group settings, such as in a class or group therapy, the Infinity Walk can offer a level of social engagement, which is vital for cognitive health and emotional wellbeing.

As always, it's important for older adults to check with their healthcare provider before starting a new exercise regimen. The Infinity Walk can be adapted to individual fitness levels and can be a safe, low-impact exercise for many older adults.

Consult Dr. Priti Nanda Sibal a functional medicine doctor in Gurugram for your health and fitness.


bottom of page