When it comes to growing older, and as Baby Boomers add to the growing numbers of older adults, one widespread health-topic is memory loss. While we often jump to thoughts of Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss takes a variety of forms. One consistent factor in all forms, is cardiovascular health.
We cannot prevent our bodies from aging. We can, however, take steps at any age (hopefully every age) to promote and protect our cardiovascular health. What we do today makes a difference for all our tomorrows. We need not live in dread as there are steps we can take - and an evergrowing list of resources including medications - to help us. So, keeping in mind that you should always confirm any medical advice with your primary care physician, here are some best practices from the medical experts:
The Mediterranean diet has been shown to yield protective factors against decline. Be sure to include nuts, olive oil, fish, berries, and dark leafy greens in your regular diet. (Did you know that one of our church members has her PhD in nutrition?)
Even walking for 30 minutes a day can significantly reduce your risk of cardiovascular complications. If you have sore joints, there are plenty of low-impact activities that can enhance your well-being, including swimming and yoga. (Did you know that one of our member is a certified yoga instructor?)
Chronic stress is a silent killer, and has been linked to both heart disease and dementia. Research has shown that of those who suffer from mild cognitive impairments, when under high stress levels, cognitive decline becomes apparent at a more rapid rate. (Proven stress relievers: exercise, yoga, scripture memory/meditation, various forms of prayer.)
Recently, researchers from Berkeley, have found that poor sleep may be connected to protein, which is a hallmark sign of Alzheimer’s. It is their hope that if individuals improve their quality of sleep, they can potentially break this causal chain of events.
When you remain engaged socially, you increase your odds of remaining mentally engaged. In fact, those who continue to socialize, may not only reduce their risk of memory loss but also boost their overall immune system. (Did you know that longitudinal secular research has confirmed numerous health benefits of regular, in-person worship attendance?)
These five proven health practices all contribute to better cardiovascular health. To wrap up, the caring professions almost all recognize the integration of physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual health. As followers of Christ, when we include with other health practices our regular spiritual practices: worship, prayer, scripture reading, fellowship, serving, and more, we experience shalom: well-being and wholeness in increasing measure! In light of the benefits we gain from regular worship participation, make sure to check out our worship themes for July and August. Our series on the Psalms will include daily readings and a devotional guide to go with our Sunday messages. These will be available beginning July 8, with the series set to begin July 18.
Here’s to your health!