Celebrate Healthy Aging Month By Accepting The MindWorks Challenge

Through November 30, 2014, Join Free with a MindWorks™ Pak (#89369) consisting of two MindWorks bottles for MP $99.90!


Shaklee Health Sciences has accepted the task of finding natural, preventive, nutritional support against mental decline. And they teamed up with brain training software from CogniFit. Are you ready to take initiative with your brain health?

“Healthy aging—what a wonderful concept to celebrate during September’s “Healthy Aging Month.” It’s easiest to practice healthy living when the blush of summer is still on our faces and in our gardens. It’s the perfect time to log steps on our pedometers and share new leafy-green salad recipes.

There is so much to gain from adopting a healthier lifestyle. Yet, for many Americans, the term “healthy aging” can seem like a contradiction.

That’s because advancing age, by itself, represents the major risk factor for the onset of many diseases our nation faces. That’s certainly true for Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration and glaucoma, which are diseases my organization fights.

You’ll rarely see these conditions listed on a death certificate (even though recent studies suggest Alzheimer’s is now the third major cause of mortality in the U.S., behind heart disease and cancer). Instead, they threaten to take the enjoyment out of our hard-won later years, by robbing us of our mind and sight.

So what’s to be done? We can’t take away age as a risk factor, but we can control many of the factors that make us vulnerable.

Diet and exercise; controlling diabetes and blood pressure; quitting smoking; and remaining socially engaged and mentally active (with respect to Alzheimer’s) may help delay the onset of symptoms—especially if they are discovered early. In addition to a medical check-up, regularly schedule a comprehensive dilated eye exam to protect your vision. And talk with a physician if you are experiencing memory difficulties and confusion that interfere with your daily life.

Decades ago, James Fries, a physician-researcher at Stanford University, observed that Americans were living longer and in better health, and he speculated that if we continue to improve upon that trend, it might be possible to postpone diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer until life’s very end.

Fries envisioned the journey into old age not as a downward slope–having reached the summit, we start our descent–but more like a plateau, where stable health last into our 70s and 80s or beyond, depending on the individual.

Fries “compression of morbidity” hypothesis was validated by a landmark study that tracked the health of University of Pennsylvania alums for 20 years. That outcome remains a driving force behind “healthy aging” campaigns, like this month of September.

And indeed, the prospect of postponing disease and disability, and living to the end of life with our mind and sight intact, is highly attractive. Not only would it preserve our independence and quality of life for ourselves and our loved ones, it would save billions and billions of dollars in health care costs. Delaying onset of Alzheimer’s by five years would save $40 billion – enough to fund more than 75 years of federal Alzheimer’s research at current levels.

Unfortunately, it won’t work for everyone. For many, Fries’ “plateau” of healthy aging is a platform that’s too hard to reach. Genes, lack of scientific knowledge and, for many people, lack of resources to take good care of their health, stand in the way.

Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration and glaucoma are “multifactorial” in nature, meaning that they’re influenced by a complicated interplay of age, genes and environment. We are still putting together the pieces of a terribly complicated puzzle that will explain what causes them, when they start, whether we can prevent them, and how we can detect and diagnose them early enough to make a difference. Treatments are desperately needed, not to mention a cure!

To solve these challenges, BrightFocus is putting some of the world’s most ingenious minds to work. For many scientists, our grant represents “seed money” to explore a bold and promising research proposal. Importantly, this critical funding can propel these scientists to receive larger grants and make bigger contributions to the field.

In science, as in healthy living, the payoff is not always immediate or obvious. It’s a one-foot-in-front-of-the-other, day-by-day effort to put this jigsaw puzzle together, just as it is to rack up 10,000 steps on a pedometer.

Research discoveries, combined with an ounce of prevention, represent our best hope. With them, just as Fries envisioned, there will be more of us staying healthy together, sound of body, mind and sight, even as we advance in years.”

From “Healthy Aging: Two Words That Belong Together" By Stacy Haller

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