Jan 18, 2012
I always wake up with the Science Daily: Mind & Brain News and one study pop out among others:
No Walk in the Park: Factors That Predict Walking Difficulty in Elderly by Yale School of Medicine . This phenomenal study reports that one of the consequences of aging increases exponentially with the following factors:” Chronic Condition or Cognitive impairment, Low Physical Activity, Slower Gross Motor Function, Lower Extremity function and being hospitalized “
Health information can be the key for solving your aging puzzle and help you navigate aging gracefully and enjoying life more. Lets remember that aging starts at 30 not at 65. For many of you following my book and my line of research you know that I have been speaking about the causes of aging from a physiological point of view and believe me it starts much sooner that you think as early as 30! Why is this important? It is crucial because if we understand the biology of aging and what areas of the human body decline faster maybe we can implement effective strategies such as specific exercise programs with the goal in mind of improving important functions of the human body such as a better brain muscle function and eventually prepare us for a better aging.
Lets go back to this phenomenal study from the Yale School of Medicine. I always wake up with the Science Daily: Mind & Brain News and one study pop out among others:
No Walk in the Park: Factors That Predict Walking Difficulty in Elderly by Yale School of Medicine . This phenomenal study reports that one of the consequences of aging increases exponentially with the following factors:
-Chronic Condition or Cognitive Impairment
Chronic Condition is a disease that persists for a long time. A chronic disease is one lasting 3 months or more, by the definition of the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.
According to Medicine.net Mild cognitive impairment: Abbreviated MCI. A brain disorder in which thinking abilities are mildly impaired. Individuals with mild cognitive impairment are able to function in everyday activities but have difficulty with memory
Research is showing us that alternative treatment such as specific exercises or massage or even acupuncture can help us with chronic pain, let me suggest a great exercise to help you with chronic pain
-Low Physical Activity
Physical Activity is defined to any activity that makes us move and function in a coordinated manner. When you turn this Physical activity into exercising your heart must be up to 50% of your maximum heart rate (MHR: 220-age) When we exercise in that range we are entering into the aerobic range where studies have proven to be so beneficial for our health.
-Slower Gross Motor Function
Gross motor skills represent the abilities required to control movement of the large muscles of the body . The muscles required to perform gross motor skills are generally found in the arms, legs, back, abdomen, and torso. Unless trained these large muscle groups will experience decline in volume, speed and connectivity.
According to one of the best Neurobiologists in the country John Martin Ph.D and expert in the motor system explains how The motor systems of the brain and spinal cord control every movement we make, from the simplest to the most complex. Movements define us as humans every bit as much as our intellect, or our art. Movements have allowed us to excel over animals throughout evolution. Movement gives us mobility; to choose to go where and do what we want. Just as movements become hampered—such as weakness or paralysis after stroke or slowed by Parkinson’s disease—we loose something is important to us.
So I asked my Dr Martin this question: Why is the motor system so important for the human being and for our aging process?
“Yes. It is our skills that got us where were are today! Certainly not our brut strength. Like a sharp intellect confers great advantage, so too do well honed skills. In many professions, like athletes, dancers, or surgeons, the need for motor skill is obvious. Most of the time it is not so obvious, but nonetheless important. Think about it, when you are trying to fix a loose screw in a pair of eyeglasses or tying a bow, driving a car, peeling potatoes”
-Poor lower extremity function
Lower Extremity Exercise for a healthy body from Body Smart Digital Magazine. Photography by Beth Bischoff
Being hospitalized it is an experience that no one wants to go through and it was really interesting that Yale School of Medicine pointed this factor as a critical one in the aging process. Even that is really important that in your rehabilitation process you add safe and effective exercises and a healthy and balanced diet.
My program is based on gross motor skills, balance, coordination, strength and lower body conditioning
Cognitive abilities such as attention, memory, auditory processes, motor coordination or executive functions like planning or multitasking deteriorate over the time unless used regularly
5 Tips to Prevent Cognitive Decline
1.- Keep your Mind motivated and your brain active in any field that makes you constantly learn: reading, problem solving, brain fitness exercises, learning a language, playing an instrument or a memory game.
2.- Work your brain with movement. You can train your brain with movement in several ways:
a.- From left to right b.- From Front to back c.- From your sixth sense (proprioception) d.-From constant learning of new movements e.- Movement mastery f.- Practice cardiovascular activity daily. Check out some of my moves at Oprah.com
3.- Eating can influence your brain in a powerful way. Foods with high antioxidants, low fats, low sugars (apples, yogurt, berries salmon, walnuts, strawberries) check my article “12 foods that boost your brain power”
4.- Stay active- Keep yourself socially active and make sure you are surrounded by great friends: you can join a book club, walking club or a gym. Staying socially active is really important.
5.- Avoid Stress! Practice daily meditation to make sure you achieve a powerful , calmer Mind and a more focused brain
Lets get with our health plan right now, thanks for reading.
Note: EXAMPLE OF GROSS MOTOR SKILLS FROM SUPER BODY, SUPER BRAIN BOOK AND BODY SMART MAGAZINE Gross Motor Skills by Body Smart. Photography from Beth Bischoff