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The OutPOST: Improve COGNITION by Doing More Squats

Submitted by: Kai Williams, PT, DPT

For years, evidence has shown us the benefits that cardio-type exercises have on improving blood flow to the brain. The conversation has continued over time about how to make sure cardio exercises stay in the mix when you are focusing on strength training or functional training.

That’s where we bring attention to the power and effectiveness of squats! Incorporating squats within the treatment plan will help to boost overall cognitive function along with lowering the risk of stroke mortality. Sometimes you may feel like your treatment plan is redundant or you are doing the “same ole interventions.” The beauty of performing squats is that it is such a modifiable activity that can offer creative challenges at any skill level.

Next time you provide an outpatient therapy session, remind your patients that evidence shows a positive link between cognition and cardio-respiratory fitness (which includes squats).


Bailey D, Marley C, Brugniaux J, Hodson D, New K, Ogoh S, Ainslie P. Elevated aerobic fitness sustained throughout the adult lifespan Is Associated With Improved Cerebral Hemodynamics. American Stroke Association. 2013;44:3235-3238.

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