I received an email with this title recently: New Medication Associated with a 50% Risk Reduction for Dementia! Wow! Now that’s almost unbelievable news. Actually, “medication” grabs attention, but it’s not a medication in the usual sense of the word. What is it? Lace up your shoes! OK, there’s a big clue! It’s not a pill. I’m not sure you could really even call it a treatment. A practice or activity might be closer to the truth. If you guessed walking, you nailed it! The Journal of the American Medical Association just reported on a study following over 78,000 adults over a seven-year period. The researchers looked at the relationship between the number of steps participants took each day (including
This is Personal I am sharing information here that is very close to my heart. My father and grandmother both died with Alzheimer’s disease. Plus my mother had dementia in her later years. None of us wants that future and I’m very excited that there is good news to share — the decline of Alzheimer’s is not inevitable. I first wrote about this topic in 2017 when I learned about Dr. Dale Bredesen’s book The End of Alzheimer’s – The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline. Dr. Bredesen, along with other researchers, has just published a peer-reviewed proof-of-concept trial in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. The results for the RE-CODE Personalized Medicine Protocol he has been developing
We see someone walking and we just know — that’s Mary! How do we know? Maybe it’s the fluidity and gracefulness of her movement. Or the particular way her head moves, how the arms swing, or the fact that the arms barely move at all! Like walking itself, recognizing another person’s walk is not usually a conscious process. But we can use conscious attention to improve our own walking comfort and enjoyment. An easy place to start is with the shoulders. Perhaps you’ve experienced the difference in walking while holding your shoulders and arms very still compared with allowing your shoulders and arms to move. Most of us notice we take smaller steps when our shoulders and arms aren’t involved
Our brains evolved with a “negativity bias,” So writes neuro-psychologist Rick Hanson. While this was useful to our survival as a species, it is not so helpful in today’s world where chronic stress is a problem for many. Luckily, we can shift that bias, thanks to neuroplasticity, the capacity of our brain to change its connections and structure. Learn how to spend just a few minutes doing so. Your “positivity bias” will grow with practice.
Sometimes actual movement seems impossible. Perhaps we are in great pain, perhaps actual movement is non-existent due to a neurological or other event. We don’t need to give up in these instances! Visualization is a powerful technique for improving brain function and movement. Dr. Feldenkrais employed this approach in many lessons, long before visualization became a staple of athletic and performance training as it is today. Here’s a little guidance and what the research is saying about this technique.
For many, a Feldenkrais movement class is a once, or perhaps twice a week, experience. Like many things, the more time we invest in something, the more rewards we realize. As this article explores, repetition by itself is not the answer. Follow these specific instructions and notice how your ability to sense your movement, alignment and posture grows. And how your ease of movement, comfort, perhaps even coordination and strength improve too. I’ve included several suggestions to expand your movement “practice.”
Mindful movement allows us to move well as we age, to feel our best as birthdays come and go. Sure, we can learn and refine our ability to pay attention to ourselves in classes like Awareness Through Movement®, Tai Chi or yoga. But is shouldn’t end there. We know that many types of exercise are crucial to healthy aging and mindfulness can be applied in these more dynamic situations. In fact, the benefits reach far beyond our exercise performance, though that can be affected. Here’s some research on this topic.