The Lancet and Spiritual Fitness
The 4th Pillar of Alzheimer’s Prevention® is Spiritual Fitness. Developing your Spiritual Fitness, or psycho-spiritual well-being, may very well help you reduce your risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and even Alzheimer’s.
The Lancet recently published a report reflecting our same recommendations for brain health through psychological well-being, such as contentment, socialization, and having a purpose or mission in life. Combined with spiritual well-being, this includes service to others and the ongoing search for peace of mind. Spiritual Fitness contributes directly to your ability to maintain a high level of mental function as you age.
The Lancet found that midlife activities are associated with better late-life cognition. For the past 27 years, your ARPF has been advocating the importance of remaining active throughout one’s lifetime: physically, mentally, and socially. The Lancet reported, “For example, in 205 people aged 30–64 years, followed up until 66–88 years, travel, social outings, playing music, art, physical activity, reading, and speaking a second language, were associated with maintaining cognition, independent of education, occupation, late-life activities, and current structural brain health. Similarly, engaging in intellectual activity as adults, particularly problem solving, for 498 people born in 1936, was associated with cognitive ability acquisition, although not the speed of decline.”
They also found that social contact, now an accepted protective factor, enhances cognitive reserve or encourages beneficial behaviors. A 28-year follow-up study of 10,308 people found that more frequent social contact at age 60 years was associated with lower dementia risk over 15 years of follow-up. This finding suggests more frequent social contact during late middle age is associated with a modest reduction in dementia risk, independent of socio-economic and other lifestyle factors.
Keep in mind that there are a few social habits that can be detrimental to your cognition. Two of which are smoking and excessive drinking. The Lancet found that “Stopping smoking, even when older, reduces this risk. Among 50,000 men aged older than 60 years, stopping smoking for more than 4 years, compared to continuing, substantially reduced dementia risk over the subsequent 8 years.” ARPF has always supported the cessation of smoking.
Due to COVID-19, social activity has ceased to exist for many. However, there are still ways to stay connected via technology. Make sure to stay in touch with friends and family through phone or video calls. Social media has made it easy to share updates and photos. If you are able to physically see others, make sure to follow your area’s guidelines on public safety measures. Togetherness is an important aspect of remaining hopeful and connected– although many are separated or at a distance, we don’t have to be alone.
The Lancet is a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal. It is among the world’s oldest and best-known general medical journals. The Lancet sets extremely high standards; they select only the best research papers for their quality of work and the progression they bring.
ARPF is pleased to have such a respected journal support our findings on the importance and effectiveness of prevention.
ARPF now offers the most complete training for preventing AD. The Online Brain Longevity® Therapy Training (BLTT) is your portal to enhancing brain function and developing a career in brain health and longevity. BLTT is about applying lifestyle modalities to modify risk factors that contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. It also offers hands-on tips for people who already have AD (especially at the early stages) and shows each student the proven steps to take to help their clients prevent this disease. The program, which is based on decades of science and ARPF-designed research on integrative medicine, is also clinically proven to slow the development of dementia.
We’ve seen great success in healthy aging using our protocol. Want to have the world’s greatest holistic and yogic techniques for brain health at your fingertips? Discover more here.
Read the full Lancet report here.