I am an active 58 year old woman. Going to the gym to lift weights, early morning walks, playing golf, and repairs around the house are a part of my typical week. But can you imagine your parents doing that at your age now? What about their parents? My age now was once, not too long ago, considered “elderly.” Can you imagine that?! 58!!
Society, as a whole, is living longer. A number of factors contribute to increased longevity, but one that I want to focus on is stress. Stress directly contributes to brain health, so how have our stresses changed? Sure, we aren’t running from wild animals, or building make shift shelters to shield us from the elements, but our bodies still answer stress with a “fight or flight” response. When considering stress in this way, think about the implications that it has on our brains. Your magnificent brain is what we are focusing on in this week’s newsletter series.
As we live longer, one of the biggest fears is losing our independence because of the loss of our mental faculties. The most talked about cognitive decline disease is known as Alzheimer’s. The disease is a result of brain cell failure, however the reason for cell failure is still unknown. It is believed that there are several factors that contribute the progression of the disease, the biggest being aging and family history. We can discuss all day the specific genome, the APOE-e4, dominant alleles, and your maternal grandmother’s memory loss in her 40s, but all those factors are outside of your control, so why focus on them? Sure, it’s good information to be armed with, but what will mitigate your risk of cognitive decline are your day-to-day lifestyle choices. Stay tuned for our daily newsletter this week where we’ll tackle ways to stay sharper longer through tools from each of the Four Pillars.
Your heart is the greatest healer of your life. And your soul is the heart of your life. Let’s start living, folks. Today starts now. Until we meet again, this is Dr. Higgins saying, good bye.