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Displaying items by tag: healthy seniors

This Valentine’s Day we want to remind you of a special relationship between physical health and level of risk for cognitive decline. You may already be aware that, when you engage in physical activity you are building both physical and mental fitness. What you may not know is there is a “brain-heart-health connection” that influences your risk of cognitive decline: The healthier your heart, the lower your level of risk is for dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). 

What Does a Healthy Brain Require?

The brain-heart-health connection isn’t particularly complex. In a nutshell, a healthy brain requires 3 things:  

  1. glucose (the chemical name for sugar) for energy
  2. a strong blood supply to carry glucose and oxygen into the brain
  3. a healthy diet to provide essential nutrients (vitamins, minerals, healthy fats) that serve as building blocks for brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. 

Look over those items once more time. Numbers 1 and 3 on the list are directly related to your diet---what, how often, and how much you eat. Number 2 – a strong blood supply--is related to heart health. So how does heart health relate to brain health?

How a Fit, Healthy Heart Fuels a Fit, Healthy Brain

Your brain relies on a strong heart to pump oxygenated blood into all regions. Scientists now believe that the disease process that leads to Alzheimer’s Disease begins when brain tissue degrades and nerve tissue becomes damaged. Poor circulation to the brain is a key factor in causing such damage to brain tissue.

If you have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, have diabetes, or other cardiovascular risk factors, it’s not only your heart that is at risk for disease, your brain is as well. For example, a type of dementia called vascular dementia can happen as a result of a series of small, “silent” strokes, sometimes called “mini-strokes.” Also, repeated or prolonged stress on the heart (such as from lack of physical activity, smoking, and stress) can lead to blockages and high blood pressure, which in turn affects circulation to the brain.

The good news is, many of the same things that strengthen the heart also help keep your brain fit and healthy

Published in Health & Wellness

Winter has arrived so it only makes sense that this month’s gym talk is about trying to prevent the common cold and flu. The start of flu season begins when levels of the flu are high, which usually begins around October and can last until May. The flu does share symptoms with the common cold; however, the flu can take a much greater toll on the body. The influenza virus or better known as the flu can not only effect humans, but nearly every other mammal and even birds on the planet making it easy for the flu to spread around the world. There are three main types of the flu: influenza A, influenza B, and influenza C. There has been no epidemics caused by influenza C, whereas Influenza A is the most common around the world. Influenza A can infect humans and animals as well as birds, unlike Influenza B, which is only carried in humans.

Symptoms of the flu include constant cough, runny nose, fever, sore throat, chills, muscle cramps/aches, headaches, diarrhea and/or vomiting. Just because you have some of these symptoms does not mean you have the flu. The common cold has similar symptoms, but usually does not get more severe then a fever and stuffy nose and only lasts for a few days. More severe symptoms lasting longer than a couple of days indicates you should get tested by a doctor. 

Published in Exercise
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