Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Get moving to slow down Alzheimer's

While we still may not have found a way to stop Alzheimer's disease, we have found a way to prevent it ... even to slow it down. So, what is this magical cure? It isn’t a pill. It isn’t an elixir. It’s the human body.

The findings of one study published by the Cleveland Clinic reported that even moderate amounts of physical activity can help to slow the progression of Alzheimer's.

Here are a few highlights worth considering:

Researchers found that elderly people with the gene associated with Alzheimer's disease who exercised regularly had significantly more brain activity during cognitive tests than people with the same gene who did not exercise. This suggests that the exercisers’ brains were functioning better.

The brains of physically active volunteers at high risk for Alzheimer’s disease looked just like the brains of people at much lower risk for the disease. Exercise appeared to have been protective.

Many of us do not carry the gene associated with Alzheimer's, but everyone has some chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease. And if exercise reduces that risk in any way, then why not get up and move?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Let's celebrate National Blueberry Month!

July is the time when everything great about summer comes together to make one long, beautiful month. Bring child-like energy and life back to these lazy summer days with a few simple adjustments.

Did you know that July is National Blueberry Month? It's true! This superfruit is one that people everywhere should take notice to. New research has shown that it might even help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's! When we heard that, we were inspired to share with you:

Tweet: 3 #superfoods U need 2 incorporate into UR summer diet today…4 a #healthy, Alzheimer’s-free tomorrow! 3 #superfoods U need 2 incorporate into UR summer diet today…4 a #healthy, Alzheimer’s-free tomorrow!

1. Blueberries Researchers from the National Institute at Tufts University in Boston treated rats to bring on the affects of Alzheimer’s disease, and then fed a group of them a diet supplemented with blueberry extract for eight weeks. Compared to those rats fed a normal diet, the rats that ate blueberries lost fewer brain cells and were able to find their way around a maze more easily. You may not be a rat, but you can learn from one! Blueberries are sweetest in July. Let’s eat!

2. Dark Leafy Greens Deficiency of certain B vitamins, particularly folate, can make it difficult to perform some cognitive tasks. New evidence shows that even slightly low levels can have a similar effect because folate, along with vitamins B6 and B12, helps to keep homocysteine levels in check, an amino acid that impairs brain function and can increase a person's risk of Alzheimer's disease. Find folate in such healthy foods as kale, collards, swiss chard, and spinach.

3. Strawberries Strawberries are in season! Slice them! Toss them in a salad! Dust them with sugar! Whatever you do, eat them! In a study conducted by researchers at the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, people who consumed the most vitamin E from foods like strawberries had a risk of Alzheimer's that was a whopping 67 percent lower than that of people who consumed the least. Pick up a bushel today!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Three tips to help this July

To us, caregivers make the world go 'round. They're brave, kind, generous, and never seem to ask for anything in return. Well, July is your month to take care of yourself. And this blog post is all about you!

Here are three simple ways to take care of yourself this summer. Take a breath, relax, and just focus on yourself for a moment!

1. Be able to recognize the signs of caregiver stress. Once you do, we'll arm you with the right strategies for getting rid of it fast.
• Feeling overwhelmed or constantly worried
• Feeling tired most of the time
• Sleeping too much or too little
• Gaining or losing a lot of weight
• Becoming easily irritated or angry
• Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
• Feeling sad
• Having frequent headaches, bodily pain or other physical problems
• Abusing alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications

2. Accept help. Be prepared with a list of ways that others can help you, and let the helper choose what he or she would like to do.

3. Set personal health goals. For example, set a goal to establish a good sleep routine or to find time to be physically active on most days of the week. It’ll do wonders!