5 Ways to Naturally Decrease Your Risk of Alzheimer’s

As we age, so do our brains.  They become less sharp and more forgetful.  While this is a part of aging, sometimes cognitive decline in later years leads to Alzheimer’s disease.  Unfortunately, 99 percent of medicines created to treat Alzheimer’s never see pharmacy shelves from lack of FDA approval.  However, there are things you can start doing now to help naturally prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.

1. Watch What You Eat

Have you ever heard of the MIND diet? It’s short for “Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay” and encourages eating brain foods like berries, olive oil, dark, leafy green vegetables, and varieties of nuts.  According to MSN.com, a study of 1,000 participants resulted in a fifty-three percent descreae in risk for Alheimer’s by those who followed closely followed this diet.

2. Keep Active

Exercise does wonders for the body and the brain. To keep your cognitive skills sharp, the National Institue on Aging recommends getting regular exercise that includes both strength training and cardiovascular activities. Talk to your doctor about an exercise program that’s right for you.

3. Don’t Stress Out

Too much stress can wreak havoc on the body and mind.  Fortunately, there are ways to reduce stress in your life. Talk to your doctor about an exercise program that is right for you. Also, consider relaxation methods such as prayer or meditation.

4. Engage Your Brain

Keeping the mind active is as important as keeping the body active.  Engage the mind by reading, doing crossword puzzles, and playing brain challenging games.  Ther are many apps, such as Luminosity, that are designed for improving cognitive function and are fun to play.

5. Stay Social

Being around people is like getting a dose of brain food.  Our brains love talking, listening, laughing and crying.  The more time you spend being social, the better your brain will function. Look for ways to meet new people by joining clubs, taking classes, or traveling with a tour group.



3 Exercise Ideas for the Whole Family this Winter

Depending on where you live in Teaxas, winter can be a welcome break from the hot, humid summer, cold enough to keep you indoors most days, or a combination of both. If you live in Mansfield, for example, the low 30s of winter may feel even colder. In North Arlington, the cool, mild winters are a nice change from the baking hot summers.

Whatever the case may be, getting the family outside to exercise in the winter is more fun than hitting the gym or walking around the neighborhood – again. Here are three outside winter activites you and your family can do in Texas that won’t even feel like exercise.

1. Take the Family Hiking
Hiking in the winter in Texas is a real treat because the more you move, the less cold you feel, and breathing in that fresh, winter air leaves you feeling invigorated and alive. Texas summers can be far too hot to go for long hikes, especially in the afternoon. Take advange of the cool winter temperatures and explore hiking trails close to home. Public parks such as Sonora Park in Kennedale and Smokey Hollow offer marked hiking trails to enjoy year round.

2. Visit South Padre Island
Bring the family closer together by getting out of town for long weekend. South Padre Island offers a lot for vistors trying to escape the winter blues. While it may not be hot enough to swim in the ocean this time of year, the weather is still warm and sunny so strolling along the seashore and collecting seashells with get you and kids outside and moving.

3. Family Biking
Did you know that Kennedale has over 600 biking trails? Or that Mansfield has over 2,000 biking trails? With so much land dedicated to riding bikes, this is another winter activity the whole family can take part in. For the colder areas of Texas, be sure to cover the extremities during winter bike rides. As you bike you will feel warmer but your exposed skin is still vulnerable to winter weather.

The History of the Flu in the United States

While so many illnesses of long ago, such as polio and smallpox, have all but been eradicated by life-saving vaccines, the flu rears its ugly head every flu season to strike the unsuspecting.  

If you have ever had the flu, you now know what it feels like to come as close to death as possible.  Unfortunately, for some people, dying from the flu is actually a reality – even in our modern age of medicine.

A Brief History of the Flu in the USA

Most notably the worst flu epidemic to hit the free world was the outbreak of the “Spanish Flu” in 1918.  It was actually a worldwide catastrophe that killed somewhere around 20 to 40 million people.  In fact, more people died from the Spanish Flu than they did from the Black Death that plagued Europe in the Middle Ages.  

The Spanish Flu struck indiscriminately with a high mortality rate and often gave its victim a fast death.  One minute you could be playing cards and feeling fine only to die of the flu overnight.  

Because the flu virus is a master of mutation, strains change from year to year and are given different names. The Spanish flu happened to be the deadliest to strike the USA.  Since then, we have had other outbreaks of serious influenza, such as the Asian flu.  However, these viruses are easier to contain than during the time of the Spanish Flu when it was carried by merchants along trade routes, causing outbreaks on virtually every continent.  

The Flu Today

The flu can still be a deadly virus and shouldn’t be taken lightly. With access to flu vaccines that stay one step ahead of the mutating virus, the chances of succumbing to the virus drastically decrease, especially when it comes to the elderly and small children.  This means a yearly vaccination is required to avoid falling ill with the flu.  

Common ways to try to treat the flu in the past included drinking coal oil and wearing masks.  Today, we recommend plenty of bed rest, fluids and antiviral medications.


Sources:  http://www.healthline.com/health/worst-disease-outbreaks-history ; https://virus.stanford.edu/uda/