I recently ran across this post on the UNC Health Care blog and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.
A recent Finnish study shows a correlation between fitness at midlife and risk of developing dementia; ‘Study subjects who reported their fitness levels at age 50 as “poor” were four times more likely to develop dementia over the next three decades vs. those who rated their fitness levels as “good”.’
This really bothered me, mostly because I have witnessed how awful Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are – both for those living with the disorders and for their families. I currently have a friend who is courageously living with this type of disorder (yes, I like to hang out with people a few years my senior) and watching her fight for her words and independence breaks my heart.
I think that losing control of my mind and body in this way may be one of my biggest fears and even the slightest hint of ‘mom fog’ scares me to death. I’m just now entering the last leg before ‘mid-life’ and I could absolutely up my game with regard to my fitness level (so many excuses). So, I have to honestly assess my current habits and where following that road is likely to end up. If upping my fitness (and probably cleaning up my diet) will help me stay sharp as an octogenarian, then give me space so I can do my push-ups and pass the salad bowl pretty please (just don’t make me do Sudoku – I hate numbers)!