Archive for Healthy Ageing

Stress and How It Impacts Your Gut Microbiome

Stress and How It Impacts Your Gut Microbiome Might Surprise You:

Gut and Brain Health: Learning from Lifestyle Medicine Conference 2018. Part 1.

We’ve all been stressed right?

Be it at work, juggling family commitments, pressing deadlines or trying to get life done. There is a large body of evidence supporting how our bodies are not designed to meet the challenges of the modern environment: multitasking, competing deadlines, technology use, abnormal light, noise exposures for example. 

Stress, has long lived in the professional treatment domain of psychology but the growing research base of exercise, diet, rest, sleep are proving to be also part of the treatment equation. You could consider this “lifestyle treatments” and this forming the basis of a rapidly growing field of work under the banner of Lifestyle Medicine.

What is Lifestyle Medicine?

In practical terms, Lifestyle Medicine bridges the gap between health promotion and clinical practice with a multidisciplinary, whole system approach to the chronic and lifestyle-related disease problem.

Lifestyle Medicine is a broad church of health professionals from GPs and medical specialists, allied health practitioners, public health physicians, educators, and researchers with a growing international association footprint.

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6 Factors To Impact Driving Performance In Older People

6 Factors To Impact Driving Performance In Older People

By 2025, people aged 65 years and over will represent approximately 25% of all drivers on the road.

It’s clear changes in our health and functional abilities are likely to impact on your driving performance.

But knowing when to reduce, change or stop driving is often a difficult decision and one which isn’t really clear.

For many people, driving represent independence, access and a sense of adulthood and capability.  Treats to this experience requires an appreciation and compassion for how a person is feeling and at the same time being respectful in discussions about driving, driving options and cessation. Being aware of the factors which may limit or reduce driving performance in older person is the first set in identifying the issues as well as a point to commence a conversation.

6 Factors To Impact Driving Performance In An Older People

1. Medications Which May Impact Your Driving Performance

Some medications can interfere with your driving performance. The side effects may be immediate,  cumulative ( adding up with the longer exposures to the medication) or combined as a result of their interactions with other medications and  or your particular health conditions.… .. Click here to read the rest

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To Age Well, Respect Matters

To Age Well Respect Matters

How respect impacts your health and well being.

Avó commandeered the room with her presence, internal power and position within the community.

She wasn’t an overly “successful woman” by populist terms but she was wise and life deep with experience.

To me she was the most successful person I ever met.

You see she raised over a 1000 children, shepherded hundreds of elderly people into the later years of their life and built new community economies to fight poverty.

In 1994, I found myself jettisoned into a world that was so unfamiliar, challenging and life altering to me as a young man. It’s not entirely surprising to see its echoes still reach through time today. The Orphanage Of Mamae Clory ( O Lar Da Mamae Clory), established a vital haven and family for those most in need of it and was a ladder away from poverty and trauma.

Avó, is Portuguese for “Grandmother”, and she was the leader of a community of over 200 children when I first came to Brasil.

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15 Best Books For Memory Health Mastery

Win these 15 Best Books For Memory Health Mastery

15 Best Books For Memory Health Mastery

If there was a dollar for every time we present and someone asks, “Is there anything you’d recommend reading?”, we’d be enjoying a few more holiday’s and team dinners.

Behind this question is a reflection of where the person is at. Likely ,

  • wanting more information to make better choices,
  • wanting clarity admist all the noise,
  • wanting a reference when they get stuck,
  • wanting to take control of their memory health destiny and are starting down this path.

We’re proud to announce:

The Great Memory Health Book Give Away

Win 15 Best Books For Memory Health Mastery

There is no doubt a clear case to involve the right people with the right skills to help you with your specific problems but for many they want to explore and discover what fits their life, their perspective. Having a handy library of go to books maybe the right step.

So to help get you started and in the spirit of Memory Health Mastery In May we’ve put together this list of 15 Best Books For Memory Health Mastery.… .. Click here to read the rest

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help Clear “Brain Waste”

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help Clear “Brain Waste”

A study published in the online edition of The FASEB JOURNAL has revealed yet another reason why it is important for us to include omega-3 fatty acids in our diet. These essential polyunsaturated fatty acids which are found in fish oil appear to help clear out harmful waste products from the brain.

Mice enriched with omega-3s effectively clear metabolites

Research has already revealed that omega-3 fatty acids can be beneficial in many ways, including helping repair the brain after injury, shielding us against age-related mental decline and memory loss as we age, and allaying several psychiatric disorders. This study also shows that omega-3 fatty acids can improve how our glymphatic system (a system responsible for removing waste products like metabolites and peptides from the brain) does its job.

Researchers compared fat-1 mice that were enriched with omega-3s to wild-type mice who were not. The researchers found

  • the mice enriched with omega-3s were able to remove brain waste products significantly better than the wild mice.

Some of the wild-type mice were then also given fish oil supplements which contained high levels of omega-3s.… .. Click here to read the rest

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Meditation and Cognitive Gains

Meditation and Cognitive Gains: Positive Cognitive Changes 7 Years After Meditation Retreat

The Shamantha Project has revealed something that has even caught the attention of the Dalai Lama: meditation improves our attention spans.

The project, led by researchers at the University of California, Davis, Center for Mind and Brain, is a first of its kind longitudinal study which is investigating the psychological, cognitive, and biological effects of meditation. Researchers followed up with the participants of the study, who had spent three months at a meditation retreat several years ago, at the six month, 18 month and now seven-year post-retreat mark.

Meditation Helps Sustain Attention in Older Individuals

The 40 participants who remain in the study are reported to have continued to practice some form of meditation for an average of one hour a day over a seven-year period. Here is what the study found:

  • There were immediate gains after the three-month meditation retreat.
  • Those same gains in attention were partly maintained seven years later.
  • This was particularly true for the older participants who were diligent in practicing meditation.
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Meditation for Stress Management

Meditation For Stress Management

Three simple tips of how meditation for stress management allows you to improve your mind.

Diet, exercise and the use of some medications can help stabilise and improve our brain and memory health. But one decades-old  technique known as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) may be just the thing that can help improve your brain and your overall health.

MBSR is a simple technique, low cost and very portable.

Put simply, MBSR is about redirecting our attention on the present so that we can relax, heal, and channel our creative selves. There are a variety of techniques that can be used, such as:

  1. Checking in with yourself: Do you feel stressed? Is there tension in your body? Take a slow, deep breath and imagine that tension being released from your body.
  2. Focus on your breath: Paying attention to the pace and depth of your breath will immediately draw you back to the present. Many people who use MBSR practice “4-7-8” breathing exercises.
  3. Experiences “challenges” instead of “chores”: Changing the way we frame situations can turn burdensome activities into educational adventures.
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Can Old Brains Grow

 

Can Old Brains Grow?

It’s my son’s 9th birthday this Saturday.

I know – I can’t believe it either.

Too fast, too big – oh my how they change.

I seem to be rolling out every parent’s observation.

What’s interesting about this and the reason I mention this is that since his birth to the time in which he is an adult his brain will double in size.

In his early 20s his brain will weigh about 1.4kg and there will be about 100 billion neurons and over a trillion connections.

But is that it for my future adult son?

Is that it for you as an older adult?

The long standing belief was that the process of aging in the brain is largely a story of deterioration and decline. Key to this theory is that new neurons are not developed beyond mid teens. ( Neurons being the working cell/unit of the brain)

A number of studies have supported this position by finding no evidence of neuron growth in the pre-frontal cortex and other areas, however, it is now emerging despite the strong headwinds of traditional beliefs, there are several areas in the brain that grow new neurons.… .. Click here to read the rest

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Fit Bodies At 70 But No Minds

 

Fit Bodies At 70 But No Minds!

What Everyone Ought To Know About Preventing Dementia

“My waiting room is filled with 70-year-olds with the bodies of 40-year-olds and no minds” a neurologist was quoted by Maria Shriver (yes the former first Lady of California) who is championing mind health as part of her Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.

It got me thinking, if their bodies are in great nick why are these people ending up in a neurologist’s waiting room? It’s clear that they have bought into the magic bullet theory.

You know how it goes;

One medication

One amazing plant product

The vitamin to end all vitamins

The key ingredient to prevent “ insert latest issue”

The one exercise above all exercise

The medication to cure……

Yep, you’ve read this all before, and you get it.

We all want it simple, easy, straight forward, but rarely in life is it simple.
Buying into the “one magic bullet ” is going to harm you much like the ladies in the neurologist’s waiting room.

Why?

Because when it comes to Brain Health, your Memory Health, there are so many facets which can impact on your performance.… .. Click here to read the rest

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9 Causes Of Temporary Memory Loss

Is My Memory Loss Serious?

 9 Causes Of  Temporary Memory Loss

Temporary memory loss happens.

Like many of us, at some point you’ve likely ran around the house searching furiously all the drawers looking for your car keys. A few days later, you bump into a friend and for all the tea in China, you can’t remember her name.

You can’t help but think is this normal memory lapse or is this the sign of something more sinister?

For most of us, the experience of memory change may be temporary, and in many cases easy to reverse without too much effort.

So, whether it’s occasional forgetfulness or there is a loss of short term memory, there are a number of factors which can cause this short term, recoverable experience.

It’s worth bearing in mind some forgetting is normal.

Your memory, much like a sailboat can have smooth sailing days or can be buffeted by adverse conditions. The same goes with temporary memory loss, when the conditions change your performance can go back to usual.  However, the more exposure to poor conditions the likelihood of damage may increase.… .. Click here to read the rest

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