Dementia Prevention

In December, my dear mother-in-law passed away. For the five years proceeding her death, she suffered from dementia. During that time, I witnessed her suffering and the suffering of her beloved family and have since vowed to do anything I can to prevent my husband and me from getting this devastating condition. But the question is, what should we do?

A JAMA study, described in a recent NY Times article, indicates comprehensive improvement in vascular health may have an effect on brain health. Study participants, (50+ years old with elevated systolic blood pressure (130-180) and no history of diabetes or stroke) who were treated with medication to bring their blood pressure under 120, suffered significantly less mild cognitive impairment (a known risk factor for dementia) than their peers who were treated to bring their blood pressure just under 140. The study leaves many questions unanswered, especially because there have been studies of people over 80 indicating that hypertension might protect against dementia. However, it has served to renew my determination to follow the CDC recommendations for preventing high blood pressure:

  • Eat a healthy diet

  • Maintain a healthy weight.

  • Get enough physical activity.

  • Don’t smoke

  • Limit alcohol use

RIP

Recently, our family’s world was rocked by the premature death of a lovely 71 year old woman with whom we all expected to share our lives for many more years. And then last week, I came across this article about how to add 14 more years to your life. So, in Linda’s honor, I share this reminder about the five healthy habits that will reduce your likelihood of dying prematurely from heart attack, stroke or cancer: 1 - Eat healthy; 2 - Exercise; 3- Don’t smoke; 4 - Drink alcohol in moderation; 5 - Maintain a healthy weight. Read the complete article.

Exercise Resolution

About this time of year, lots of us are working on New Year’s resolutions, including for many of us, to exercise more often. I think we all know that there are SO many benefits to regular exercise but the challenge is in the doing. I believe that the tips provided in Allison Aubrey’s 16 minute interview of Katy Milkman, a Wharton professor and expert on behavior change, just might do the trick for me this year. Katy provides six tips: 1 - Commit to at least four weeks; 2 - Combine exercise with something you enjoy; 3 - Set goals but give yourself a free pass or two; 4 - Build flexibility into your schedule; 5 - Incorporate sociability into your exercise routine; 6 - Make money part of your motivation scheme. Learn more about Katy’s tips…

Happy 2019

I hope that you are looking forward to living well in this new year. In December, I completed all requirements to become an National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC). If interested, you can see what this means at the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaching website. Now that I’m no longer preparing for the certification exam, I’m looking forward to spending more time sharing what I’ve been learning about health and wellness. Watch for my next post on what to eat (and not) to combat inflammation.

Every Wednesday

That's a research based answer to "when is the best time to weigh yourself ?".

Like many people, I've spent much of my adult life trying to keep my weight at a healthy level.  Through the years, I've tried various schemes for weighing myself to maximize my motivation.  Too often and I'd be frustrated by an increase in weight for no apparent reason.  Too infrequently and I was unconscious of the gradual increase in my weight until it hit a level that would require some major action.

Access more information about the study that yielded the answer to this frequently asked question here.