4MV #234 Avoid these 3 things to protect your brain from dementia ✔ Study of 40,000 people

⭑ You can lower your risk of dementia ✔ focus on these 3 things first
⭑ Boost your lifespan to match your healthspan ✔ medicine can’t help yet
⭑ Insufficient daily water found to reduce your concentration ✔ new research
⭑ Short, simple exercises done daily make a big difference ✔ try this one

All strength to Ukraine 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦


AI images and such.

By the way, have you had a chance to explore AI? You can use it at ​Microsoft Bing​ for free, (although you may need a Microsoft account). It's not just a tech gimmick, it's a tool that can stimulate your brain and enhance your cognitive abilities.

I've been diverting myself from filing my tax return by playing with different AI image generators. It's quite addictive. Sometimes the results have me standing up in my chair in amazement!

Bing uses DALL·E by OpenAI. It is an AI system that can create realistic images and art from a description in natural language. I urge you to try it.

There are many competitors. The image below was my first attempt to get Google's Imagen to produce a (wide-view low-angle) image of a miniature dachshund on an Italian street in summer. Amazing, right?

Pop that on a Stickermule T-shirt and you'll be the life of the dog park. I have too many of them already!!

As yet, there is no magic pill to match your healthspan to your lifespan, you still need to take the initiative for yourself — see item #2.

A study found 3 risk factors among 162 that have the biggest negative association with dementia. You can alter each one's effect on you — see item #1


01 Avoid These Three Most Harmful Lifestyle Factors for Dementia

A recent study considered 161 different "modifiable risk factors for dementia". The three most harmful risk factors identified, in comparison to the other 158 risk factors, were:

  1. Traffic pollution;
  2. Excessive alcohol consumption; and,
  3. Type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 is the most common type (I have Type 2).

These factors were identified as the most harmful modifiable risk factors for dementia among all the factors considered in the study, particularly affecting your brain's fragile regions.

In the research's context, the brain's fragile regions refer to a "network of higher-order regions" that process information from our senses.

⇒ These areas not only develop later during adolescence but also show earlier degeneration in old age and are particularly vulnerable to conditions such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease, making them a "weak spot" according to the researchers.

The study examined 161 modifiable risk factors for dementia, grouped into 15 categories, including blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, weight, alcohol consumption, and pollution, among others, across 40,000 adults in the UK aged between 44 and 83 years old. This is a solid study.

What this means for you: "Modifiable risk factors" implies that you have the ability to alter them, for better or worse.

  1. Do your best to avoid areas and times of high pollution. Just being aware of the damage caused to your brain by traffic exhaust pollutants will inspire you to do your best to avoid them. If you are a cyclist, you are unfortunately often in a stream of traffic pollution, and you may want to think about changing your route or time of travel. Masks are not effective against nitrogen dioxide.
  2. Frequent alcohol intake, particularly daily or almost daily consumption, poses a significant risk to cognitive health, exceeding the risk posed by less frequent consumption. However, a recent study found that quitting or cutting back on drinking can improve your brain health.
  3. Diabetes, independent of obesity and exercise, has a profound negative effect on your brain's fragile areas. It's best to take every possible step to avoid developing it, which often occurs at around 50 years old as in my case. Try eating 20% less, exercising 20% more, and eating better "Five Better Food Choices I Should Have Made Before I Developed Diabetes".

There's no better time to start than now, good luck.

Related: Measuring your waist will tell you if you are on your way to diabetes


02 Lifespan or Healthspan, Which Would You Prioritise?

A recent article in Scientific American distinguished between lifespan and healthspan, highlighting the importance of focusing on extending the years of life free from chronic disease rather than merely prolonging life.

The article defines healthspan as the period of life free of chronic disease or disability. This is also the point of my slogan, "living longer better", which guides my research and writing for you.

Unfortunately, we are faced with an immutable fact, as stated in the article: aging is the most significant risk factor for cancer, heart disease, and dementia.

We can't change aging. However, an emerging field called "geroscience" aims to understand and manipulate the biological processes of aging to improve healthspan.

Right now, despite the lack of treatments to reverse aging effects, lifestyle interventions can significantly modulate the biology of aging, potentially adding up to a decade of healthy years.

What does this mean for you? "Preventive maintenance" for extending healthspan includes regular checkups, monitoring cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and paying attention to your nutritional and exercise needs.

While we do not understand all the causal reasons, there is plenty of evidence of a strong positive correlation between lifestyle factors—such as nutrition, sleep, exercise, and social connection—and extended healthspan.

In the future, you may be able to pop a pill that positively influences the underlying mechanisms of aging. For now, we have to do the work. Exercise regularly (start small), eat real food, and mix with peers who care for you and encourage you.

When faced with getting started, I always think of the famous quote from Lao Tzu - "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" (oft quoted by Mao Tse Tung).

Related: The Countdown - How To Start Exercising When You Can't Get Started​​​

@Medium - Follow me on Medium ↗, covering ⭑food, ⭑brain, ⭑body, ⭑life


03 Can More Water Helps You Concentrate?

New research from Pakistan popped up in my feed during the week concerning sleep patterns, water intake, and the ability to concentrate.

Concentration refers to the ability to focus and maintain attention on a task or activity. The study measured concentration using a self-report questionnaire. Participants were asked to rate their usual concentration level on a categorical scale.

As we age, sleep quality generally declines. I know mine has.

Here's what caught my attention: the report found a significant negative correlation between nine hours or more of sleep duration and negative mood.

Additionally, daily water intake and concentration had a significant positive correlation.

64% of the study participants drank less than 2L of water daily. So while more water might not help you concentrate, less than 2L daily diminishes your concentration.

What this means for you: A significant correlation between daily water intake and concentration was found, wherein a decrease in daily water intake showed a negative effect on concentration.

The research suggests that for better concentration, you should prioritise sufficient sleep duration and adequate water intake, namely:

  1. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night - not more; and,
  2. Drink at least 2 litres of water daily (68 fluid ounces).

Additionally, practising good sleep hygiene by avoiding screen use before bedtime and having dinner at least one to two hours before sleep is essential. Regular exercise and avoiding late-night meals can also contribute to better concentration.

Good luck.


04 Small Regular Exercises Make A Big Difference - Try This

Our exercise of the week is... standing heel raises with an isometric contraction.

Over the 25 years I've been exercising regularly, I have discovered the effectiveness of simple exercises integrated into my daily routine.

The standing heel raises with isometric contraction is deceptively simple. The benefits are many, but I will focus on two: (1) postural stability and (2) fall prevention:

  • Core and Lower Back Strength: Isometric contraction of the glutes engages your core muscles, including the lower back. Strengthening these areas supports better posture and spinal alignment, reducing the risk of chronic back pain and related conditions.
  • Balance and Coordination: This exercise also improves proprioception—your body's ability to perceive its position in space—thereby enhancing balance and coordination. Improved balance is critical in preventing falls, a significant cause of a shortened lifespan (shortened by 5 years on average).

Try doing this exercise when you are brushing your teeth. You will be surprised how you start to notice the benefits of such a small investment.

What this means for you: Stand straight and slowly lift your heels while squeezing your glutes, then lower them back down:

  1. Positioning: Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart, near a chair or countertop for support if needed.
  2. Heel Raise: Slowly lift your heels off the ground, pressing through the balls of your feet.
  3. Glute Contraction: As you raise your heels, squeeze your glutes tightly and hold the contraction.
  4. Hold and Lower: Hold the raised position for 1-2 seconds, then slowly lower your heels back to the ground.

I do this when brushing my teeth, morning and night:

  • Morning Warm-Up: In the morning, this exercise activates your muscles and kickstarts your metabolism.
  • Evening Routine: Repeat in the evening to combat sitting too long, and to improve your sleep quality.

Start with two sets of 10 repetitions each, gradually increasing to three sets of 15 repetitions as your strength and balance improve.

You'll start to notice the impact after about 3 months. It's worth it.

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

About the newsletter: Do you think it can be improved? Have a story idea? Want to share about the time you met Chris Hemsworth, or your questions about how to live longer better? Send those thoughts and more to me at walter@bodyagebuster.com

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