All strength to Ukraine 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦
Ant honey trumps bee's!
Ants have been keeping a secret for 140 million years - one just discovered by Australian scientists. Honey from Australian honeypot ants has antifungal and antibacterial properties that are more effective than manuka and jarrah honey from bees, especially against golden staph.
Perhaps we'll see the rise of laboratory-scale ant farms to harvest this new miracle honey.
Noting your tasks isn't lazy. It frees up your brain to concentrate on what you need to get done - see item #2.
I'm diabetic (type 2) - diagnosed 25 years ago. I've found that people at risk of diabetes rarely understand the consequences. I didn't either - see item #1.
⭑ Do you understand the consequences of diabetes? Read this ✔
⭑ Too many tabs open? Make notes instead of trying to remember ✔
⭑ Chronic muscle weakness is not normal. Here's what to look out for ✔
⭑ Falling can reduce your lifespan by 5 years. Do these daily to stay strong ✔
01 Diabetes, Dementia, and Deteriorating Vision
Diabetes is a global epidemic. Cases of diabetes in young adults are soaring in the UK, Australia and the US, and are rising at a faster rate among the under-40s than in older age groups.
That said, the case numbers in the over-50s are also accelerating. I was confirmed as a Type 2 Diabetic (T2D) when I was 50. In a way, I was lucky. After a period of denial, fear finally snapped me into action, and I did something about it - namely, losing weight and exercising.
I didn’t even know what diabetes was. What I saw when I googled it immobilised me, and then, after a couple of months of denial, caused me to leap into action. During the 25 years since then, I have noticed that people rarely understand the consequences of diabetes.
⇒ Here's my message: you want to do everything possible to avoid becoming diabetic.
If you become diabetic and don’t take action to slow the consequences, here's how things will pan out for you:
- The hairs fall off your extremities, starting with your feet. They die because blood circulation to the hair follicles is blocked by glucose in your blood. The same thing is invisibly happening to your brain, eyes, heart and kidneys
- Nerves die throughout your body. Diabetic neuropathy begins as a loss of sensation in the toes, and possibly fingers. The pain in your legs can be excruciating as nerves die. It wakes you up in the night, and there is no cure.
- The glucose sludge in your blood builds up in your feet. You need to have the worst one amputated before the gangrene poisons the rest of your body.
- Your eyesight is weakened. New research in the journal of Ophthalmology reported that the severity of visual problems strongly correlated with signs of dementia.
- Diabetes leads to heart disease and high blood pressure, which relentlessly damages your brain over time. People with diabetes for over 10 years have more than 2X the risk of dementia than those without diabetes.
- Elevated blood sugar leads directly to memory loss by damaging your hippocampus, the brain's memory centre.
- By now, your kidneys are failing, you will need regular dialysis.
- Your insulin resistance allows the formation of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease, to run out of control.
- Dementia and, specifically Alzheimer's, are now entrenched.
- Then, you go blind.
On the other hand, you can slow all this down and outlive the worst consequences.
What this means for you: You know what you have to do. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy body weight, and treating high blood pressure and cholesterol can reduce the risk of both diabetes and dementia.
If you need motivation, then try fear. It worked for me. Google the outcomes of diabetes; google my list one by one and see with your own eyes while you still can.
⇒ Measure your waist and height. If 2X your waist is more than your height, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your risk of diabetes.
Believe me, it is worth doing everything possible to avoid becoming diabetic.
02 How To Achieve Your Daily Goals More Consistently
On a lighter note. By noting reminders, you may feel like you are being lazy and not exercising your brain.
On the contrary, new research has found that "cognitive offloading", i.e. using external reminders or tools, can improve our memory performance and free up our brain to focus better on other things.
Even better, setting reminders increases the chances of achieving our goals by reducing forgetfulness.
It can be quite difficult to achieve our goals, and there are numerous reasons why we get led astray. A common reason is simply forgetting our goals.
Psychological studies suggest that 50 to 70 per cent of our everyday memory failures involve forgetting our intentions.
⇒ Creating reminders helps solve this problem.
What this means for you: Use your favourite reminder tool - a notebook, sticky notes, Google Tasks, Apple Reminders, etc.
I use Google Tasks at the desk and Apple Reminders for dictating tasks on the fly, and shopping lists.
I'm trying mem.ai, a new generation of note-taking apps, and I may use that instead of Google Tasks. It has neat AI features to help you write, expand and summarise your notes.
@Medium - Follow me on Medium ↗, covering ⭑food, ⭑brain, ⭑body, ⭑life
03 Even When We Age Chronic Muscle Weakness Is Not Normal
Noticing that we are a little weaker as we get older is normal, but a chronic feeling of muscular weakness is not.
I am fit and strong for my age (75). Nevertheless, I have microbursts of frustration when cycling back from the coffee shop and having to push ever harder to make it up the same small hills back home. This is normal.
Chronic muscular weakness is different, and you should be alert to it. It is often described as a persistent reduction in the strength or endurance of your muscles. It could be generalised, affecting your whole body, or localised to specific muscle groups, for example:
- Difficulty with physical tasks: Once easy Tasks, such as climbing stairs, lifting objects, or even standing up from a seated position, may become challenging.
- Reduced grip strength: You might find opening jars or holding objects securely harder, e.g. you unexpectedly drop something you are holding.
- Frequent fatigue: You may feel tired more often, even after doing less strenuous activities.
- Balance issues: Muscle weakness can affect your balance, making you more prone to falls.
- Muscle atrophy: In some cases, you might notice that your muscles look smaller or less toned than they used to be. (Unfortunately, this also accelerates the wrinkled look of our skin, which none of us like to see).
- Persistent muscle soreness or pain: While some muscle soreness after exercising is normal, chronic muscle weakness might be accompanied by persistent pain or discomfort.
⇒ If you're experiencing persistent muscle weakness such as described above, it's important not to dismiss it as a normal part of aging.
What this means for you: While some muscle loss is normal (sarcopenia), sudden, severe or persistent muscle weakness could be a sign of an underlying health condition.
Common causes of muscle weakness that are not simply sarcopenia include:
- Neurological disorders: Stroke, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease can lead to muscle weakness as these conditions affect your nervous system - which controls muscle movements.
- Chronic diseases: Diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease can cause muscle weakness. These conditions can affect your metabolism and circulation, leading to muscle weakness.
- Infections: The flu and other viral infections can cause temporary muscle fatigue - you would be aware of that feeling. Watch that it doesn't become chronic, especially if you have had Covid.
- Medications: Some medications, such as statins (used to lower cholesterol), can cause muscle weakness as a side effect.
- Nutritional deficiencies: Lack of micronutrients, especially vitamins D, B12, E and C, and magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron can lead to muscle weakness.
- Hormonal imbalances: Conditions like hypothyroidism, where the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, can cause muscle weakness.
- Autoimmune diseases: Conditions like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, where your immune system attacks your body, can cause muscle weakness.
Seek medical advice if you're experiencing muscle weakness. Here's how you can be best prepared to talk with your doctor:
- Monitor your symptoms: Keep track of when you experience muscle weakness, how long it lasts, and if it's associated with any other symptoms.
- Consider your medical history: If you have a history of chronic diseases, neurological disorders, or autoimmune diseases, your muscle weakness could be related. Make sure to discuss this with your doctor.
- Review your medications: If you take any medications, check the side effects. If muscle weakness is listed, talk to your doctor about alternatives.
And in any case:
- Get regular check-ups: These can help detect any nutritional deficiencies or hormonal imbalances causing muscle weakness.
- Stay active: Regular physical activity will help maintain your muscle strength and the healthy functioning of your muscles, improve your balance, and help you do all your regular daily tasks without feeling worn out.
04 These 6 Simple Exercises Will Help You Avoid Falls
Our exercise of the week is...a group of exercises to help you balance better.
We all notice a loss of balance as we age. Have you tripped onto the footpath while getting out of a car on the passenger side? I have. As noted in the previous item, muscle mass and strength loss is expected.
That's not to say that you cannot slow it down, and you should try to slow it down if you want to give yourself the best chance of living longer better.
⇒ Studies are consistent. The life expectancy of people over 60 admitted to hospital due to a fall is reduced by 5 years, on average.
What this means for you: A well-designed 2016 study covering 19,478 participants found that the following simple exercises reduced the rate of falls by more than 20%.
Reducing your base of support:
- Standing with two legs close together: Stand up straight and bring your feet together so they're touching. Keep your hands by your sides or on your hips. Hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute.
- Standing with one foot directly in front of the other: Stand up straight and place one foot directly in front of the other, heel to toe. This is often called a tandem stance. Maintain your balance and hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute. Switch feet and repeat.
- Standing on one leg: Stand up straight near a wall or a sturdy piece of furniture. Lift one foot off the ground and balance on the other foot. Hold this position for as long as you can, aiming for 30 seconds to a minute. Switch feet and repeat.
Moving your centre of gravity:
- Reaching: Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Extend one arm out before you and reach forward as far as you can without moving your feet. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other arm.
- Transferring body weight from one leg to another: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Shift your weight to one leg, lifting the other foot off the ground if possible. Hold briefly, then shift your weight to the other leg. Repeat this back and forth 20 times.
- Stepping up onto a higher surface: Stand before a step or a sturdy, elevated surface. Step up with one foot, followed by the other, then step back down. Repeat, leading with the other foot.
Ideally, you should do these daily for about 20 minutes. If you do, you will notice the difference. Try doing one exercise during each TV ad break.
Level-up: the simplest level-up is to hold a light dumbbell in one hand. This introduces asymmetry and causes your muscles and brain to work harder to keep you balanced.
Advanced: close your eyes in those exercise where it is safe to do so.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. If you are not yet subscribed to my free exercise app, try now ↓↓↓ Free forever. Opt-out any time. Opt-in by CLICKING HERE PLEASE SEND ME THE EXERCISES. NOTE: YOU ONLY NEED TO SUBSCRIBE ONE TIME.
>> My Latest Blog Post: Energise Your Golden Years: Boosting Your Desire to Exercise with Gut-Healthy Foods
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