This is the year of 50 for me and my high school buds. As I have witnessed my parents dementia’s, I pledged early on to lead a different life. I believe what Dr. Oz told me when I appeared on the show, and have found many other research studies confirming that your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s is more closely tied to your lifestyle than your heredity.
Parade Magazine recently shared the 5 Surprising Tips on Staying Vital and they include:
1) Start prevention early since the process can begin 20 to 30 years before you have symptoms.
2) A few simple changes will help you fight a whole range of disease — smoking is forbidden and one hour of aerobic exercise daily is recommended. They also mention strength training and I was surprised when I recently learned that with every decade, you lose 10% of your muscle. The only way to combat it is to increase your training.
3) Helping your body helps your brain. The article states that “aerobic exercise is more important in enhancing brain function and memory than any other activity.”
4) Being social plays a huge role in preventing dementia. I have worked very hard on this but have found it immensely rewarding.
5) Moderate amounts of Alcohol are healthy. After I witnessed my Dad’s inability to stop drinking (he thought every drink was his second), I considered eliminating alcohol all-together. However, I have just worked on changing my habits instead of going def-con five.
In line with my effort to socialize, even with a 6 a.m. start looming, I met two friends out last night to visit. One was only in town for the night. We celebrated our 50th birthday together. As we were chatting, one commented that she wanted to live to be 100. Two of us groan. I have no desire to live a life without quality, so I’m not sure I’m willing to just say I want to live to be 100. The second groaner is watching her mother progress into Alzheimer’s and said she felt doomed. I told her we are in no way doomed and she even shared the many ways she was living a life very different from her mom.
May we all find the balance and ability to work to prevent the pesky inconveniences of aging. 50 is the new 30, right? Cherished.