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  • Writer's pictureCRAIG BRYAN

Exercise Can Help Lower Your Risk: #LetsTalkAboutDementia

If you’re like most people, dementia is one of your greatest fears about aging.

By the year 2050, more than 152 million people around the world will have it, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI).

And while there is no vaccine or cure, research that suggests exercise can reduce the risk or severity of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

· “Moving your body has immediate, long-lasting and protective benefits for your brain that can last for the rest of your life,” neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki says.

· The Alzheimer’s Association says regular cardiovascular exercise can help reduce the risk. So can resistance training.

· A study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, & Psychiatry says physical activity can give you a 36 percent better chance of avoiding it.

September marks the ninth World Alzheimer’s Month, an international campaign to raise dementia awareness and challenge stigma. Alzheimer associations and others around the world organize advocacy, raise money, and share information.

The social media tag will be #LetsTalkAboutDementia.

5 Ways to Reduce Your Risk

“Research suggests that leading a healthy lifestyle may help to reduce a person’s risk of developing dementia later in life,” ADI says. “The general rule is what’s good for the heart is good for the brain, so both should be well looked after with a balanced diet and regular physical and mental exercise.”

It’s never too late to make positive changes. Here are five things everyone can do, ADI says.

1. Take care of your heart.

Smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity all damage blood vessels and increase the risk for having a stroke or a heart attack, that could contribute to developing dementia in later life.

2. Be physically active.

It controls weight and blood pressure. It lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer. And evidence shows is can reduce the risk of dementia. No matter what, though, exercise always makes us feel better!

3. Eat well

A healthy diet is good for your body – and also for your brain. Studies suggest that a Mediterranean-style diet is good, with fish, legumes and vegetables. And we definitely know what’s bad for us: processed foods with sugar, salt and saturated fat.

4. Keep Working Your Brain

Learn a language, start a new hobby, or play music. New challenges strengthen build new brain neurons and strengthen the connections between them.

5. Socialize

Social activity is good for our brain health. It stimulates our brain reserves. So make time for family, friends, and social obligations. ADI makes an excellent suggestion to combine these activities with physical and mental exercise, sports, and hobbies.

Let’s Talk about Dementia

The ADI says that two-thirds of people feel like their countries don’t have much understanding of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

All through the month of September, see what you can do to help people who have dementia or might be at risk. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have. And call us to learn what we’re doing to keep at-risk populations moving in a safe, fun environment.

Stay in Travel-Ready Condition

Remember travel?

Remember what it was like to make plans to visit somewhere special – for a new adventure, or a return to somewhere familiar?

Remember then actually getting on an airplane? And staying in a hotel and eating in restaurants and ….

Ah, well… As we finish the summer of Covid, it’s important to remember that someday when the pandemic is over, we will be able roam the world more freely again.

Travel is one of the main reasons why people over 50 want to stay healthy and strong as they age. So, don’t let this surreal period of time lull you into bad habits, lethargy and gaining weight.

Stay ready for the eventual return to travel with strength training, cardio exercise, and agility/balance work. Watch out for stress eating and too much TV time. If it helps, daydream about your next vacation or two. Here are some classics for mature travelers:

· Paris, Rome, and other great cities of Europe. You’ve always wanted to roam the streets, climb the famous stairs, and tour the cathedrals.

· Hiking on trails that are in faraway states or countries.

· Biking through wine country.

· Golfing with old friends.

· Teaching the grandkids how to swim.

· Competing in an Ironman triathlon in Hawaii.

And you’ll still be able travel as you’ve always wanted if you don’t let Covid ruin your healthy living plans.

So, whatever your current fitness level – and wherever you want to visit as soon as possible – tell us about your travel dreams. We’ll help you make them come true someday.

Healthy Recipe, Trail-Mix Bars

Wrap and store these high-protein bars individually in the fridge to “grab and go” for snacks between work, school, errands, and activities. They’re a fraction of the cost of high-quality store-bought bars. From California Raisins.


  • Expeller-pressed canola oil spray

  • 1 Cup raw cashews

  • 1/4 Cup California raisins

  • 1 Cup toasted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

  • 1/2 Cup raw sunflower seeds

  • 1/3 raw sesame seeds

  • 3 Tablespoons flaxseed meal

  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 Cup honey

  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C, or gas mark 2) and coat a 9 x 9-inch (23 x 23 cm) pan with canola oil spray.

Finely chop cashews and dried fruit in a food processor (or smash the nuts in a bag, and chop the fruit) and add to a large bowl. Add pepitas, sunflower and sesame seeds, flaxseed, and salt and stir to combine. In a separate bowl, microwave the honey for a few seconds until warm. Drizzle honey and vanilla into the nut mixture and stir until completely incorporated. Pour the mixture into the pan and spread evenly.

Spray a sheet of waxed paper with canola oil spray; place the waxed paper on top of the mixture, spray side down, and pack down gently with your hands. Bake until golden, 20 minutes; cool completely.

Place a cutting board on top of the pan. Lay one of your hands on top of the board and the other hand underneath the pan and firmly flip the pan upside down to release the cake from the pan. Cut into 12 bars. For maximum freshness, store bars individually in snack bags and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories 260; Total Fat 18; Cholesterol 0; Total Carbohydrate 17; Dietary Fiber 3; Protein 10.

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