Can Exercise Cut Your Risk of Dementia?. Strong bodies and strong minds go together. A recent study suggests that regular exercise can strengthen the brain and may cut your risk of cognitive decline and dementia down the road. To determine how physical fitness affects brain health, researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine studied the medical records of 6,104 older patients in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health system. They found that the more vigorously the patients exercised, the lower their risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or other cognitive problems years later. The findings were published in February 2017 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The patients, average age 60 and nearly all men, were asked to run on a treadmill for as long as they could. Those who scored less than 6 metabolic equivalents on their treadmill test had a more than fourfold greater risk of cognitive impairment than those with scores higher than 12. Exercise fortifies the brain by directing blood flow and oxygen to the areas that control memory and decision-making, and distributes peptides and proteins that help produce neurons. “But even as little as 30 minutes of moderate levels of exercise a day can make a difference in overall brain health.”
Eating mindfully is the single most effective way to lose weight and to maintain a healthy weight throughout your life. But did you know that it will also get rid of many digestive problems?
One of the reasons for the increase in obesity in the western cultures is people not taking the time to sit and enjoy their meals. They eat on the run, while multitasking or being distracted by life’s many demands.
As psychologist and mindfulness teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn explains, “For the most part, we eat with great automaticity and little insight into its critical importance for us in sustaining life and also in sustaining health.”
For years, I suffered from chronic excessive gas and stomach aches. I was overweight, and gaining more weight because I was overeating. I wasn’t listening to my body’s signals.
Because I was usually distracted when eating, I often felt overly full after meals. I took various over-the-counter medications to get rid of those sharp gas pains I experienced frequently.
Then I started practicing mindful eating. I only ate when my body was hungry and stopped eating before I was full. And guess what? My digestive problems disappeared! I was able to throw away all those digestive aids and haven’t needed them since.
Many of my post-menopausal clients who have suffered from heartburn, indigestion and worse digestive ailments no longer need prescription drugs or other medications. Once they started eating mindfully, they stopped experiencing those symptoms – and they lost weight!