Reducing Risk of Dementia
According to a major new Canadian study published in the journal, Neurology, even small health conditions can significantly increase your risk of dementia later in life, and keep you from doing the things you enjoy. In fact, the study says a dozen untreated minor health issues can increase your dementia risk by nearly 40 percent. So, make it your New Year’s resolution and a priority to seek medical attention for any nagging health concerns you may have.
The beginning of the New Year is also a great time to adopt new healthy habits, which may be easier than you realize. Clinical experts and physicians on the medical staffs of St. Luke’s Medical Center, St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center and Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital share these surprisingly simple tips for ringing in a healthier New Year.
Buy a new pair of shoes – Purchasing the right shoe for your foot type and physical activity provides your hips and knees with a stable platform and protects your joints. Try a good athletic shoe store — usually the staff can determine how your foot interacts with the ground and recommend the right shoe for you. — Anthony K. Hedley, M.D., FRCS, orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff at St. Luke’s Medical Center and Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital.
Eat more chocolate – Recent studies have found a beneficial link between the high levels of dark chocolate consumption and a reduction in cardiovascular disease — so indulge! Just remember to watch your overall caloric intake and eat a diet rich in nutrients. —Richard R. Heuser, M.D., FACC, FACP, FESC, FSCAI, chief of cardiology at St. Luke’s Medical Center and Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital.
Ignore your alarm clock – Sleep is important and most Americans aren’t getting enough. Most of us micro-sleep, which means we experience small awakenings throughout the night. If we can see the clock from where we sleep, our brains take a mental picture and we’re left feeling like we were awake all night. By simply turning your alarm clock away from you, you can significantly improve your quality of sleep. — Chip Coffey MAPC, NCC, LPC, director, Outpatient Services, St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center.
Get out and dance – Reduce stress by enjoying a group exercise class at a gym, such as a high-energy cardio dance class. Exercise and socialization are both proven to reduce stress levels — having fun helps, too. — Chip Coffey MAPC, NCC, LPC, director, Outpatient Services, St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center.
Plant a fruitful garden – You can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and other obesity-related diseases by eating a healthy plant-based diet. What better motivation to eat healthy than to grow your own fresh fruits and vegetables right in your own backyard? Bonus — gardening is a great hobby that helps reduce stress. — Fayz Yar Khan, M.D., internal medicine physician at Tempe Internal Medicine Associates, a Physician Group of Arizona, Inc., practice.
Take charge – Schedule an appointment with your health care provider to determine what preventive health screenings would most benefit you, and when you should complete them. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers a handy pocket guide to good health for men and women, which can be found online at HYPERLINK “http://www.ahrq.gov/ppip/adguide/”www.ahrq.gov/ppip/adguide/. — — Fayz Yar Khan, M.D., internal medicine physician at Tempe Internal Medicine Associates, a Physician Group of Arizona, Inc., practice.
For more information or for a referral to a physician on the medical staff at St. Luke’s Medical Center or Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital, call 1-877-351-WELL (9355).
This information is provided by St. Luke’s Medical Center and Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital as general information only and is not intended to replace the advice of a physician.