Couch Potatoes Face Higher Dementia Risk
The New Year has begun and the gyms are overflowing. Unfortunately they will begin to taper off by mid February. Everyone is "Gung Ho" at the beginning of the year. Then the fun of starting something new begins to wear off. We get busy at work and at the end of the day are just too tired to drag our self to the gym.
So we veg out in front of the television. We become couch potatoes. We know it's not healthy. we know we are more likely to gain weight but it is so comfortable. The dark and gloomy months of winter seem to beckon us to the couch.
Maybe This Will Get You Up and Moving
Now there is another reason to get up off our duff and hit the gym, or at the very least go for a walk. According to researchers from McMaster University, carriers of a variant of the ‘apolipoprotein E’ (APOE) genotype are more likely to develop dementia and inactivity dramatically increases the risk for non-carriers.
What is APOE ?
APOE is a protein and is the principal carrier of cholesterol in the brain. People who do not carry the gene but who are mostly inactive are more likely to develop dementia.
This is Not The First Study To Suggest That Exercise May Help Prevent Dementia
In a 2011 study by the Mayo Clinic data suggests that aerobic exercise is associated with a reduced risk of cognitive impairment and dementia.
Good For The Heart= Good For The Brain
Scientists are discovering that the same behaviors that have been proven to be good for the heart are also good for the brain. I am talking about diet and exercise. Following a heart healthy diet with lean proteins, good fats and whole foods will not only protect your heart but may also be beneficial for your brain.
The same is true of exercise. Both organs need a constant supply of blood and oxygen to operate at top performance.
So How Can You Get Motivated?
Find a partner to work out with. Most people will stick with a program longer when there is someone else they are accountable to. When my Dad had his first stroke at 63 years old his doctor ordered an exercise program at the hospital gym. He suggested that my mother also attend since he knew she would help him stay motivated. It worked. Up until Dad passed away at age 91 he and mom worked out 3 times a week every week. Someone who is invested in your well being is a good partner to have.
Don't try to do everything at once. Start slow and build up. If you know that going to the gym 3 times a week is going to be difficult to work into your schedule try committing to once or twice a week. Then take a 20 to 30 minute walk around the neighborhood once or twice a week.
Got Off Track?
Don't beat yourself up about it. Repeat this mantra. Simply begin again. Know that you will most likely fall of the routine a few times. It's okay, as long as you notice when you do and get right back in the game. Your heart and your brain will love you for it!
Pat Mack has been helping families make the right decisions to care for someone they love since 1997. Email Her Today for more information.
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