I know many of you – reader and author friends alike – are struggling with health issues and doing your best to stay healthy. I used to blog regularly about health-related issues and how to stay motivated. I never made a conscious decision to quit blogging about it, but life happened. New health challenges arose and I wasn’t as happy with what I was doing – or with the results, for that matter.
In 2015 I got diagnosed with blood glucose problems, leading to a makeover of our eating habits and even more pressure to keep up aerobic exercise. When that wasn’t sufficient and the threat of needing medications loomed, I took yet another class and learned about the role of strength training in managing blood glucose. Strong muscles pull the sugar out of the blood, even more effectively than an aerobic walk. I’m on it. Half an hour, two or three days a week. Most weeks. I’m not perfect…
Sometime around then I dropped back from 10,000 steps a day to 8,000, re-set my Fitbit goal, and was pretty satisfied with how that made me feel. In case you didn’t know, aerobic exercise, among other things, rewards our brains with dopamine and helps combat depression. I like how that feels.
Mr. Kraft is always on the lookout for news articles I might miss that could be helpful. Last week he sent me one whose headline I would probably never chase – it starts out PEOPLE WHO DO THIS ONE THING EVERY DAY… Those lead-ins always annoy me. But because he’d sent it, I kept reading. The rest of the headline reads, pretty much, HAVE HALF THE DEMENTIA RISK OF THE REST OF US.
He definitely had my attention. Both my mother and her father spent their last years lost to us in full blown dementia. If there’s anything I can reasonably do to prevent that future, I will. Major motivation.
The article actually reports scientific research that shows how the risk for dementia decreases with the increase in step count. Here’s the LINK, for those who’d like more detail. Benefits start to show up at about 3800 daily steps, reducing risk by 25%. Getting to 9800 steps daily reduces the risk by 50%. People who walk 30 minutes of those 10K daily steps at a brisk pace (about 110-112 steps a minute) reduce their risk even further, to 62%. So I timed myself for four minutes, and I’m a tad over that. Well and good. Lets do this!
Today is my father’s birthday. He lived to be 101, and he walked extra steps and climbed extra stairs whenever he could, until he became wheelchair bound toward the end. I think he’d be pleased with what I’m doing, and I’m pleased to be posting this and remembering him on his birthday.