Can we build better brains lessening cognitive decline and risks for dementia and Alzheimer’s?
According to researchers, the answer is, yes. Choices we make every day impact the functioning of our brains. And these choices can lead to a better future, lessening risk not only for Alzheimer’s but also for dementia and cognitive decline.
Choices about how much we sit and move around today and every day are being implicated in how well our brains and cognitive functions will work in the future.
Physical inactivity, sitting too much, has a specific impact while metabolic factors resulting from sitting too much have an effect as well. Walking abilities and what we do as we sit, television watching in particular, impact risk.
Read more and find out what these indicators are. Then we’ll talk about what you can do to target these risks. Is it an Alzheimer’s preventive? Research shows the possibility.
Indicators for cognitive decline and risks for dementia and Alzheimer’s
Indicators linked to increased risk for Alzheimer’s include:
• heredity (46%)
- physical inactivity (21%)
- depression (15%)
- midlife obesity (7%) (linked to physical inactivity)
- midlife hypertension (8%) (linked to physical inactivity)
- diabetes (3%) (linked to physical inactivity)
- smoking (11%)
- low education (with limited mental stimulation into adulthood)(7%)
Indicators linked to increased risk for cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s are also linked to metabolic processes that are impacted by sitting too much and moving too little including:
- elevated levels of blood sugar,
- elevated levels of fats (cholesterol, triglycerides)
- elevated levels of lipoprotein lipase (helps fat utilization by muscles as movement takes place)
- high blood pressure
- “overweight/obese (individuals) could have a greater risk of AD than those with a more active, healthy lifestyle”
Walking abilities and falls
A risk of falling may be an early indicator of Alzheimer’s. The slower the walk among senior citizens, the more the signs of dementia.
Sitting too long and too much creates musculoskeletal stress and, over time, dysfunction. Impacted in particular is loss of flexibility in the lower back. “Flexibility, particularly in your lower body, is a key determinant in how well you age, including your risk of falling and your ability to get around.”.
Did you know that researchers link television watching and risk for Alzheimer’s? It is thought to be because it is the least mentally stimulating of seated activities.
What’s a person to do?
First, recognize your chair dwelling lifestyle does not match your cave dwelling metabolism and muscles.
Next, get up and get moving is the answer. But how much and how often?
The answer: two hour more a day than you currently move with two minute breaks from sitting every 20 minutes. Also consider practicing exercises that effect the stability of the lower back. See below.
Why the program to un-sit your life? This is what the body, designed to live a much more active lifestyle than our chair dwelling culture, needs to maintain its metabolism and muscles. Moving 2 hours more a day with breaks from sitting resets both metabolism and muscles.
The result is improved indicators for metabolism as well as flexibility for competent movement and mobility. The bottom line is improved indicators for risk of cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s.
What’s the link to reflexology?
It’s all about pressure to the feet. The reflexologist provides quality pressure to the feet. Un-sitting provides quantity pressure to the feet.
We became interested in sitting too much as we realized sitting too much translates into feet not receiving enough pressure to maintain the body as intended. Over four years of exploring the research, it became apparent that 2 hours a day with breaks from sitting every 20 minutes that created needed change in biomarkers and other indicators of the body’s operating system. The result is improved health and lessened risk for a long list of lifestyle conditions including those impacting cognitive function.
For more information, see Un-sit Your Life, the Reflex Diet Solution, Change your sitting habits, Empower your life by Barbara and Kevin Kunz