At Greater Muscle Strength Associated With Decreased Alzheimer’s Risk: A study has found that individuals with weaker muscle strength appear to have a higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease and declines in cognitive function. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by declines in memory and other cognitive functions, and is also associated with other features, such as impaired gait and other motor functions, depression and decreased grip strength. Cognitive refers to a range of brain functions, including thinking, learning and memory. “Because Alzheimer’s disease develops slowly over many years and its hallmark is change in cognitive function, we examined the association of muscle strength with cognitive decline,” the authors write. Individuals who were stronger at the beginning of the study experienced a slower rate of decline. Overall, these data show that greater muscle strength is associated with a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment.”
This is good to know. Another reason to get those 3 lb and 8 lb hand weights out and use them. In fact, I keep them in plain sight in the living room so I can do a few repetitions a few times a day. When I walk out to the mailbox, often I’ll take a walk around the block while I’m at it. When I shop, I park my car at the other end of the lot to give myself another good walk. I do yoga every day but really like how I feel when I use my muscles more actively as well.
And you don’t have to join a gym to stay active and keep your muscles in motion. I have a giant exercise ball that I use here at home, and several sizes of elastic bands. You can find some easy exercise routines online and on FitTV, Brighthouse Channel 112. I like watching them exercise. It motivates me and programs my unconscious mind to be excited about joining in.
But there are ways to stay in motion without officially exercising. When I began cleaning my own house, I realized it was real work. I now take the time to vacuum almost every day, just to get a little aerobic exercise. I clean the kitchen every time I’m in there. I keep pots and pans and dishes put away. Just those few moment of extra effort has you using your muscles a little more each day. I am tall, so I store many things on high shelves. That keeps me reaching for them and that helps keep my muscles long and supple. I also still store many things in the bottom cabinets. I don’t want to become one of those people who can’t stoop down without getting stuck there. How many times do you do that and think, “Ok while I’m down here, what else can I do?”
When I take a walk around the yard, I am always picking up the fallen branches and hauling them to the woodpile. I am always picking up small twigs and tossing them into the pile of kindling. I am always taking the fallen palm fronds to the street, or into the woods to add to the privacy wall out front. I have 2 low hanging branches that everytime I pass them, I reach up and grab the branch and swing from it or chin myself. Yeah, chin ups – harder than push ups. Don’t think so? Try doing one.
Also to help keep my muscles strong and in use, I am always moving furniture around. I am always rearranging the plywood and ladders and tools in the shed. I am always moving the decorative rocks and concrete stepping stones around the yard as well. Once they begin to get overgrown, I pull them up and place them once again on top. That’s an ongoing process here.
So, no, you don’t need to freak yourself out thinking you have to join a gym and do 5 hours of zumba a week to stay fit. If the idea of actual exercise freaks you out, that just means you’re not vibrating in that space just yet. Don’t push it. Just get more active doing things around the house and yard. Spend less time in your big puffy chair. Turn on FitTV, Brighthouse Channel 112, and watch them exercise. Watch the belly dance class on Shimmy. Or leave it on in the background so your unconscious mind can have time to get excited about it, if you don’t want to join in right now.
The bottom line is Just stay in motion to keep your muscles strong. Then, as the studies show, you have less risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and less declines in cognitive function. We’re living longer than in our grandparents’ time. With just a little effort, we can stay strong and vital well into our golden years. That’s what I intend to do.
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