Wellness Wednesday – 1/29/20
WELLNESS AROUND THE WEB
Science Suggest Owning A Dog Reduces Risk Of Dying Early By 24%
According to a new systematic review of nearly 70 years of global research, having a fluffy canine companion can drastically reduce risks of an early death.
“Dog ownership was associated with a 24% reduction in all cause mortality,” said Kramer, an assistant professor in the division of endocrinology and metabolism at the University of Toronto.
CNN.com reports that the meta-analysis found an even bigger benefit for people who had already had a heart attack or stroke.
“For those people, having a dog was even more beneficial. They had a 31% reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease,” Kramer said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, studies show dogs decrease stress and promote relaxation and impact nearly all stages of our lives. They influence social, emotional and cognitive development, promote an active lifestyle, and have even been able to detect oncoming epileptic seizures or the presence of certain cancers.
Can Mindfulness Evolve From Wellness Pursuit to Medical Treatment?
A growing body of evidence suggests that mindfulness, originally an Eastern spiritual practice, can be utilized to treat or supplement therapies for almost any health problem imaginable — including depression, smoking and chronic pain — without the same risk of side-effects that many pharmaceuticals have.
However, according to an article from NYTimes.com, studies on its impact have generally returned mixed results, perhaps in part because mindfulness is more difficult to measure and observe than standard pharmaceutical medications. What constitutes a “dose”? And how can you be sure people are getting it?
It may be the case that scientists need to develop new metrics to analyze a potential medical intervention that’s rooted in ancient Buddhist philosophy. “Buddhists didn’t talk in terms of anxiety and depression,” says Judson Brewer, the director of research and innovation at the Brown Mindfulness Center. “They used words like ‘clinging’ or ‘attachment.’ That’s what we’re talking about, getting caught up in our experience — that’s where suffering comes from.” Alleviating that “stickiness,” Brewer says, is what mindfulness is actually supposed to do. So, to tell if it’s working, “we need a stickiness measure.”
Healthy Habits To Prevent Dementia
Given that brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia are on the rise and are among the leading causes of disability and death, it’s important to take steps to keep your brain healthy, says CapeGazette.com.
Many of the factors that put people at risk for brain diseases, including dementia and Alzheimer’s, are the same as those for heart disease and stroke. The most common of these are: family history; high blood pressure; high cholesterol, especially high LDL or “bad” cholesterol; diabetes; obesity; smoking, including exposure to secondhand smoke; a sedentary lifestyle; and living in urban areas where air pollution is higher.
One of the best preventative measures involves performing 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least two to three times per week, with walking being the best method. Also, the Mediterranean diet offers the most benefits for the brain.
Research has shown other protective factors which tend to keep dementia away, such as having strong social connections with family and friends, and doing cognitive training like crossword puzzles, sudoku and other exercises that stimulate the brain. The term ‘use it or lose it’ stands true for your brain.