#formymemories

I am not a tech-savvy person by any means. I missed the boat there. Part of my goal with this blog is to further my knowledge and skills in the process! I had been having trouble with my Mac for a while. It kept telling me I had no space, start-up disc full. I’d delete documents and a bunch of pictures now and then. I couldn’t understand why the messages didn’t stop! The other day, I prepared to print pictures by the mass to put into photo albums, knowing this would be a fun way to reminisce with the kids. Low and behold, the piece of junk wasn’t working (I sound 80, I know)! A more knowledgeable friend helped me figure out that the 8,200 pictures and 300 videos on my Mac was likely the problem! I am probably making myself a target for cyber-theft by sending this confession out into virtual space… Anyhow, the reminiscing and realization of my current lack of tech skills motivated this post.

I think it’s safe to say that most people understand that the effort we put into healthy living and physical activity in particular, will benefit our quality of life as we age. However, I am not sure it is as common knowledge, the impact exercise may play on our mind as we age. Along with aging come changes to the brain which cause decline in cognitive function. Studies suggest that exercise can help prevent atrophy and degeneration within parts of the brain related to memory (Gregory, Parker, and Thompson, 2012).  Smith (2016), highlights consistent positive effects of combined physical activity in combination with cognitive activities or “brain fitness” on cognitive health of aging adults. Though there are cross sectional and longitudinal studies which support the benefit of exercise on brain health, researchers emphasize the need for larger scale studies following the impact of lifestyle and health behaviours of individuals from an earlier age for the potential to prevent age-related cognitive decline… We can sit around and hope that we don’t end up with Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or any other diseases related to cognitive decline. We can hope that the pharmaceutical industry finds a pill to “fix” symptoms related to such diseases. We can also do everything in our power to try and prevent or diminish effects of age related atrophy or degeneration.

I challenge you to go out and get some form of exercise every day this week! Try and get a bit of “brain fitness” in daily too! If you can combine the two, even better! Go for a walk, try and learn a new skill, try a new form of physical activity, learn a new form of dance! For your sake, and that of your children, please remember that you are strong enough to make sure you do everything in your power NOW, to enjoy the moments and memories in your future.

Tag your daily exercise and brain fitness on Instagram with #formymemories

Love Thea

References

Gregory, S. M., Parker, B., & Thompson, P. D. (2012). Physical activity, cognitive function, and brain health: what is the role of exercise training in the prevention of dementia?. Brain sciences, 2(4), 684-708.

Smith, G. E. (2016). Healthy cognitive aging and dementia prevention. American Psychologist, 71(4), 268.

Kang, S., & Kang, S. The study of exercise and health services platform for prevention of dementia. Cluster Computing, 1-6.

Voelker, R. (2010). Effective Prevention Remains Elusive for Cognitive Decline and Dementia. JAMA, 303(24), 2462-2462.

Before

I sit here, typing this post, watching Sex and the City. Sex and the City is one of my favourite shows to watch when I want a little extra motivation or when I feel anxious about getting older. I love stories about strong, independent, successful women. I needed the encouragement today as I plan to post my Before pictures in this post!!

I’ve created a 6 week fitness program for myself, which I am beginning today! I am three weeks postpartum now. Though I am happy about how fast my pregnancy weight (and then some) has come off, I am not yet where I want to be. I DO feel amazing though, especially considering how little sleep I’ve been getting. Maybe I’m still on a high by suddenly being able to bend over again and tie my shoes, lay on my stomach, climb stairs without becoming winded…. But my fitness goals are to overcome years of neglect. This past year, this pregnancy, has been particularly hard on my body. I spent several weeks of this pregnancy on bed rest orders due to bleeding in pregnancy. After that, I had a ten pound lifting restriction. I occasionally indulged in fried and fast foods. My blood pressure rose again during this pregnancy. I began taking Labetalol 100mg, twice daily. After Brynn’s delivery, my pressure increased still and I began having terrible head aches and blurred vision. I had to increase my dose to 200mg twice daily. I gained about 25 lbs during this pregnancy, and am now down 35 lbs. Thank you breast feeding! I am fitting into clothes that I haven’t fit into for a couple of years, but like I said, years of neglect….

So here we go! Posting these is WWWAAAYYY the heck out of my comfort zone!! And I have dreaded it for the last week, put it off for the last couple days, looked for excuses, talked myself out of it… but, as I said in my first post, this is about growth and accountability for me. SO here they are!

Happy TGIT!

Thea