5 Healthy Uses for Natural Sweeteners

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Natural sweeteners are defined as a number of plant or animal-derived items that provide sweetness in an unprocessed form. They are a great way to get all of the flavor of sugar or corn syrup without the level of processing that both of these items require. There are a number of different sweeteners to try. Here are five popular sweeteners and a healthy use for each one. 

This fruit that comes from the palm tree is a sweetener that has popularity dating back before Ancient Egypt. Dates are an excellent sweetening choice for baked goods. Dates can be separated from the pit and blended into a sweet paste. They can be mashed and added to cinnamon or granola bars to provide a sweet, decadent treat. 

One of the best-known natural sweeteners, honey has a number of great uses. It can be used to sweeten drinks and salad dressings. Raw, unpasteurized honey also serves as an antimicrobial in food preservation and wound care. Eating local, raw honey every day has also been shown to help to reduce the severity of seasonal allergies.

The syrup in the agave plant is the precursor to quality tequila when fermented and an excellent honey or maple syrup substitute when used in its raw form. Agave comes in both light and dark formulations and can be used like white and brown sugar or dark and light molasses. It offers a mild taste and is a great choice for marinades, as it can help flavors to stick to the meat without causing a lot of charring and burning over a grill. 

This sweetener is the lowest-calorie of all of the known natural sweeteners and is often used as a sugar substitute for those who want to purge sugar from their diet. It is most commonly eaten as a powder, like sugar, but it is very light and more similar to powdered sugar. It can be used in drinks and baking, but be aware that it is actually much more sweet than sugar, so you need much less of it in your coffee or tea. If you are doing a cleanse that includes lemon water, a pinch of this can help to make it taste more like lemonade. 

Maple Syrup
Another of the best-known natural sweeteners, maple syrup is a staple on breakfast tables worldwide. It is important to note that natural maple syrup is not the same as artificial brands, which consist of maple-flavored corn syrup. Maple is an excellent sweetener substitute in pies, a good glaze base for meats, and a good addition to salad dressing. 

Making the Switch
If you are unsure which kind of sweetener is best for you, it's a good idea to experiment. For some, you may find that you can easily make the switch with some things but other foods are not as good with a sugar substitute. Other people may be trying to remove most of the sweet things from their lives, and this is a way to wean off of the addictive nature of sugar a little bit more easily. 

Remember that not all sweeteners taste quite the same. If you don't like the flavor of one, keep trying others until you find a taste that you enjoy. Even as you experiment, in increase in your energy levels and a reduction in your waistline may help to tip the scales in favor of your new sweetening regime.

Taking Care of a Pet is Great for Your Mental Health

A cat or dog running around the house is either a blessing or burden in your mind. Although pets take some effort on a daily basis, their presence is largely positive. As you grow into your senior years, you'll notice marked changes in your mind and body. By having a pet in your life, it's possible to improve your mental health without any medications in sight.

Fighting Off Stress

Stress affects everyone at any age. As you grow older, however, stress can be more serious than it was in your 20s or 30s. Taking care of a pet changes this scenario. Try petting your furry friend for a few minutes. The sensation of the fur, warmth and possible purring contributes to a relaxed state of mind. There's an actual rhythm to this motion, which also creates less stress. Focusing on the animal's needs takes your worries away for a moment. Relieving stress for only a few minutes a day is enough to make a difference in your life.

Encouraging Physical Activity

Pets will jump, run and walk around your home and yard with pride. Play with your furry friends to feel and look young. Throw a ball, and follow your pet around the yard. They'll love the engagement while you benefit from the positive, health effects. Dogs definitely get you moving because they require daily walks. Take them out on a leash so that they can use the bathroom and enjoy the fresh air. The outside air also improves your outlook on life as you soak in the vitamin D from the sunlight.

Warding Off Loneliness

Loneliness is a reality for many seniors. Their children and grandchildren may be in other cities, or spouses can be ill. A pet can quickly fill the day with happiness and love. These animals love you unconditionally. They'll be thrilled to see you arrive home at the end of the day. Feeling lonely creates mental decline over time as you seek out social situations otherwise. The pet makes you feel good so that you're more inclined to be social with others as loneliness becomes a distant memory.

Breaking the Ice

You might have a shy personality, which makes social situations difficult. Let your pet do the socializing as you meet new people. The pet draws in a new person, and you're given the chance to start a conversation. You might go to a dog park or beach as a way to meet other people with pets. Use this common attribute to forge bonds that will last for many years ahead. Leaning on friends and your favorite pets is a great way to stay mentally alert.

Bringing On the Laughter

It's a fact that laughter is good medicine. A good laugh releases positive hormones throughout your body. These hormones directly affect your brain. You'll feel happy with the day even if some setbacks are present. Your pet might do funny things throughout the day, which brings on laughter on a regular basis. Allow yourself to feel the humor, and your mental health improves as a result. People who live in an unhappy bubble without pets in their life can easily succumb to depression and other mental decline.

Typical pets are the furry types, but you might have a different animal in mind. Almost any animal can help you on a mental level. Care and play with it each day so that the feelings are mutual. Your mental happiness will grow exponentially in response.

Marathons: Risk or Reward

Current workout trends include the traditional marathon that's a little over 26 miles long. People across the world will train and try their luck at these marathons. It's not just young people trying their will against these challenges either. Seniors in large numbers are giving their best as they walk or jog all or most of the marathon course. However, there are definitive risks and rewards to marathon running. Get familiar with these important points so that you can make a smart decision about your next workout session.

Improved Cardiovascular Functions

By elevating your heart rate during a marathon, you're improving your cardiovascular functions. Your heart needs some exercise to maintain its strength and rhythm. As you pick up speed during a workout, blood flows throughout your tissues as well. Sending more oxygen and nutrients through your body will only improve your overall health. You can ward off chronic illnesses and even the annual common cold. Healthy, cardiovascular systems also ward off mental decline into your senior years because the brain receives enough nutrients to remain alert.

Risk of Mechanical Injuries

As you run down a paved street, the impacts of your weight during the motion are magnified across the body by a factor of three. These impacts are somewhat supported by the joints' natural cushions, but damage does occur over time. Your ankles, knees and hips take on the brunt of the marathon's impacts. It's not uncommon to suffer from mechanical injuries in these locations. Strains, sprains and other ailments strike at any time, especially as you grow older.

Enhanced Sense of Self

Marathon runners often tout about the mental benefits to marathon running. They achieve a sense of pride with each completed mile. Feeling good about yourself is an important aspect of life. As you enter the senior years, declining health issues might be your top priority. By challenging your body with a healthy pursuit, you gain mental and physical strength. Good hormones flowing through the body will only improve your life over time.

Considering Overexertion

Running more than 26 miles during one workout is incredibly stressful on the body. Marathon runners have been known to pass out from overexertion, such as from heat exhaustion or dehydration. Currently, studies show that potential heart benefits might have a limit when it comes to long-distance running. Although you need to exercise your heart with aerobic activity, too much strain causes tissue damage. Scientists have observed heart membranes being actively damaged by enzymes generated during stressful workouts. Heart damage can easily lead to a heart attack or other critical ailment.

If you've caught the running bug, be safe with your workout regimen by visiting with your doctor. Discuss your goals and current health situation. Your doctor might set limits on your workout intensity based on your medical conditions. With your doctor actively supporting your marathon goals, you can set out on a future run with confidence.

Are Adult Martial Arts Programs for You?

Your children and grandchildren may take martial arts classes, such as karate, and you're curious about the sport too. This skill and technical sport is actually a perfect activity for nearly any age group, including seniors. As you consider an adult martial arts program, explore the perks to learning this complex sport.

Increasing Your Confidence

As you grow older, you might be concerned about your safety walking to and from your home. You want to feel comfortable being yourself with some self defense ready if trouble erupts. Learning martial arts increases your confidence about yourself. You'll be able to hold your ground if a person threatens you. In fact, you might scare off a person by just holding your martial-arts stance on the street. Feeling good about yourself benefits the entire body, which leads to a healthier lifestyle in your senior years. 

Concerning Bone Health

One caveat to the benefits of martial arts programs is bone-health concerns. These exercises sometime require you to balance on one leg for an extended time period. Although this requirement may seem benign, seniors with bone issues may see complications. Osteoporosis and other ailments might be aggravated with balancing exercises. Ideally, speak to your doctor about any bone concerns before taking up a martial-arts program. If you have a clean bill of health, your bones will only grow denser as a result of the martial-arts effort. Brittle bones from a chronic condition may indicate that low-impact sports might be in order, such as swimming.

Growing Lean Muscle

When you consistently perform martial arts, you'll develop more muscle tone. Your body will actually use itself as a resistance tool. Balancing, kicking and punching will encourage muscle growth. These muscles can increase your metabolism, which leads to fat-burning benefits. As a senior, you're probably losing muscle when exercise isn't part of your daily routine. Taking on martial arts gives you a chance to build muscle where it helps your health, especially at the cardiovascular level. Your heart health improves because it's receiving a workout as you move across the fitness mats.

Improving Your Physical and Mental Focus

Performing martial arts requires intense concentration. As you focus on your opponent, your mind is improving with the enhanced thinking. Because you're practicing these focus techniques, brain cells create new pathways to deal with the situations. A sharp mind in your senior years can ward off mental decline, such as dementia. Keep your mind sharp by continuing in martial-arts classes. Every new skill that you learn will create a new, nerve-signal pathway that only helps your daily clarity.

Creating Lifelong Bonds

As you enter a martial-arts class, you'll form instant bonds with other learners. Because you're a beginner, everyone in your class will have the same skill level. Practice together, discuss strategies and let the sport permeate your conversations. Bonding with others is an important part of mental health as you enter your senior years. By feeling connected to the community, you reduce your chances of fighting depression and other ill effects. These friendships can last a lifetime when you nourish them with supportive banter and helpful criticism. 

Many cities and towns have local martial arts classes that you can try out. Ask the facility manager about beginning classes and other details surrounding the class. Reputable trainers are thrilled to welcome any beginners regardless of age. In a matter of months, you'll be kicking and punching like a professional.

Colon and Rectal Cancers on the Rise

From the moment that you turn 50, your doctor will automatically test you for colon or rectal cancers. Several decades have passed with this statute in place, and millions of seniors have benefited with early cancer detection and remission. However, researchers report that colorectal cancer rates are actually increasing in the population. Take a close look at the rise of colorectal cancer and possible solutions.

The Young at Risk

Cancers centered in the colon or rectum are normally associated with age. As your body enters the senior years, certain tissues age at varying rates. With this fact in mind, it makes sense that colorectal cancer tends to develop in people who're at retirement ages. Startling statistics are showing otherwise, however. Twenty-year-olds are being diagnosed with advanced colorectal cancers at greater rates than before. Doctors are concerned with this rising rate because there's no clear reason for the change. Researching this cancer even further will be the only way to find a specific reason.

Overlooked Diagnoses

Doctors are concerned about young people developing colorectal cancer because it's largely overlooked during standard office visits. These cancers present themselves with basic symptoms, including upset stomach, diarrhea and other intestinal issues. Professionals simply write off the complaints as a stomach flu or bowel problem. During this time period, the cancer has a chance to grow and develop further. As a result, young people find themselves fighting a cancer that's normally discovered early on in older people. Today's doctors need to consider more diagnoses than before as cancer risk rises among the young adults.

Possible Contributing Factors

Researchers can only guess at the causes of colorectal cancer in young people today. Common factors that contribute to cancer are normally a sedentary lifestyle, weight gain, excess alcohol consumption and poor diets. People with chronic ailments, such as diabetes, also have a higher risk of cancer. However, none of the young people presenting with colorectal cancer have a clear connection between their habits. More research must be done in order to understand the relationship between young age and this particular cancer.

Preventive Care

The best way to prevent colon and rectal cancers is through colonoscopies. These tests are invasive, but they shed a light on any growths within the digestive system. When young people complain of chronic digestive issues, doctors should take that extra step to order a colonoscopy. These tests find polyps that are just barely forming, which can save a person's life. Seniors may want to go to an appointment with their younger loved one in order to support them through the process. It's an important test to complete so that the doctor has all of the necessary information for a diagnosis.

Surgical Options

If a young person's cancer is found to be advanced in nature, surgery is an option. Removing the cancerous parts of the colon and undergoing chemotherapy are often used as a combination therapy. Doctors must remove or eradicate all of the cancer so that it cannot continue to spread. Patients normally visit the doctor consistently after any surgery because possible recurrence must be discovered as soon as it develops.

If you or a loved one are experiencing any unusual issues with the digestive system, bring up this fact with your doctor. Professionals are more aware than ever that cancer isn't entirely impossible in young people. Catching any cancer in its early stages gives anyone a better chance at survival.

Tips for Gluten-free Diets Without the Mercury and Arsenic

Understanding Gluten Sensitivities While Avoiding Mercury and Arsenic

Gluten is a protein found in rye, barley and wheat, but many individuals cannot eat this substance because it leads to an allergic reaction. Some of the symptoms from gluten sensitivity include:

• Skin rashes
• Chronic fatigue 
• Abdominal bloating
• Diarrhea
• Pain in the stomach

Numerous foods contain gluten, making it difficult for someone to shop at local supermarkets. Fortunately, many manufacturers now label the foods that contain gluten to help shoppers avoid the ingredient if they are allergic to the substance. At the same time, many of the foods that are gluten-free also contain higher levels of arsenic and mercury. 

What Is Arsenic? 

Arsenic is a chemical that is commonly found in minerals, but it is poisonous when it is ingested in larger amounts. Long-term consumption of arsenic can lead to multiple health problems that can include:

• Cancer
• Nerve damage
• Heart disease
• Skin darkening
• Diarrhea
• Abdominal pain
• Thickening of the skin
• Drowsiness
• Mental confusion
• Headaches
• Convulsions
• Changes in the fingernails
• Strokes
• Diabetes mellitus

What Is Mercury? 

Mercury is another metallic chemical that can cause medical problems after it is ingested, and it also is found in many foods. Some of the symptoms of mercury poisoning include:

• Problems with vision, hearing and talking
• Cognitive difficulties
• Numbness in the feet and hands
• Skin rashes
• Poor coordination
• Muscle weakness

Many individuals are unable to consume foods that contain gluten, but researchers know that many gluten-free foods contain high levels of arsenic or mercury. Some of these foods include seafood, meat and some plants that grow in soil that contains mercury or arsenic. In addition, many water sources contain arsenic. If you want to find foods that do not contain mercury or arsenic, then you must follow these important tips. 

Tip 1: Avoid Eating Too Much Rice

You might try to make bread or pasta from rice flour, but rice contains higher than normal amounts of arsenic. To avoid eating too much rice, you must find other types of flour that are gluten-free. In most cases, brown rice has more arsenic than white rice because it has less processing. 

Tip 2: Monitor How Much Poultry You Consume

Poultry such as duck, geese and chicken are exposed to high levels of arsenic, and that means that the meat from these animals also contains arsenic. Limit the amount of poultry that you consume to avoid ingesting too much arsenic. 

Tip 3: Brussels Sprouts Contain Arsenic

While Brussels sprouts are a nutritious vegetable that you can enjoy occasionally, this food also has arsenic. When scientists tested the blood of individuals who ate Brussels sprouts frequently, they learned that the vegetables caused the individuals to have high levels of stored arsenic in their bodies. 

Tip 4: Avoid Eating Too Much Fish

Certain types of fish contain high levels of both mercury and arsenic. The most common varieties of fish that have arsenic and mercury include tuna, herring and sardines. Fish is contaminated with arsenic and mercury because the chemicals are in the water where the creatures swim. 

Tip 5: Foods Made With High-fructose Corn Syrup

High-fructose corn syrup is added to many foods as a sweetener and preservative, but recently, scientists learned that this substance contains a lot of mercury. If you want to avoid mercury, then read the labels on food packages to make sure that the items do not contain high-fructose corn syrup. 

The Facts About Heart Failure: What You Need to Know

Heart failure does not mean that the organ has stopped beating. The chronic medical condition occurs when this vital organ works less efficiently and can no longer pump enough blood and oxygen to support the remainder of the body. The chambers of the heart may stretch to hold more blood and develop more muscle mass. Your heart may also beat faster to increase output. While this helps to keep blood flowing in the short term, the muscle walls will ultimately weaken and not be able to pump as strongly. Eventually, your heart will not be able to keep up. When this occurs, you will experience fatigue, breathing problems and other symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this chronic progressive medical condition affects approximately 5.7 million Americans. More than half a million new cases are diagnosed annually. A combination of nutritional and medical approaches can reduce symptoms and delay the progression of the disease.

Causes and Risks

Although it is more likely to develop as you age, heart disease is a serious, long-term cardiovascular condition that affects people of all ages. It is one of the most common reasons for hospital admission among patients 65 and older. The most common risk factors include high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and a previous heart attack. Diabetes is another risk factor. Unhealthy lifestyle choices like smoking, not getting sufficient exercise, being obese and consuming a poor diet can increase the risk for developing heart failure. Other factors that can contribute to heart disease include genetics, toxins and infections.

Signs and Symptoms

Common symptoms include shortness of breath and persistent coughing or wheezing. This is caused by a buildup of fluid in the lungs. There may also be a buildup of excess fluid in various bodily tissues like the abdomen and the extremities, including the feet and ankles. You may also experience fatigue. These symptoms can prevent you from enjoying routine daily activities. Other symptoms include nausea and a loss of appetite as well as confusion, memory loss and impaired thinking because of poor blood flow to your digestive tract and brain.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Early diagnosis enables you to take control of your condition and still live a long full life. Heart failure is typically diagnosed based on your symptoms and a full medical examination as well as any required tests. While there is no cure, you can stop the disease from getting worse by following your doctor’s treatment advice, including taking prescribed medications and changing your lifestyle. Prescription medications often include ACE inhibitors that are designed to relax your arteries and heart as well as diuretics that reduce excess fluid and relieve shortness of breath. Medication can also control any atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeats. A pacemaker may be installed if your condition fails to respond favorably to medication. A surgical procedure known as ablation may remove small amounts of excess heart muscle or destroy small portions of diseased tissue. Along with avoiding nicotine products, other lifestyle changes include reducing sodium in your diet, maintaining a healthy weight and engaging in daily physical activity to strengthen your heart. A diet of low-fat proteins, fruits, vegetables and whole grains is often recommended.

Heart failure can compromise your health and endanger your life. Working with your doctor, following recommended treatment protocols and making necessary lifestyle changes can relieve symptoms and improve your quality of life.

The 7 Best Foods to Improve Cholesterol

It is important to reduce your cholesterol levels to prevent cardiovascular disease that affects your blood vessels, arteries and heart. Here are seven foods that dietitians recommend for cholesterol reduction. 

1: Leafy Green Vegetables

Broccoli, kale and spinach contain antioxidants that will reduce the inflammation in your body to help prevent heart disease. The antioxidants in these vegetables will also detoxify your body’s cells. These leafy green vegetables contain numerous vitamins and minerals that will boost your body’s immunity levels. It is possible to consume spinach, kale or broccoli in a variety of ways by using the vegetables raw in a salad or adding the vegetables to cooked recipes.

2: Steel-cut Oats

Rather than having a boxed cereal that contains a lot of sugar and sodium, eat cooked steel-cut oats for breakfast. There are several ways to prepare steel-cut oats quickly for an easier breakfast, but you can also use steel-cut oats in other ways, including adding the grain to baked goods such as muffins, cookies or bread. Steel-cut oats are beneficial for your cardiovascular system because this food contains a lot of fiber that helps to absorb and remove fat from your digestive tract.

3: Fish and Eggs That Contains Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Instead of eating beef, poultry or pork at your meals, switch to fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Some of the best types of fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids are:

• Tuna
• Mackerel
• Salmon
• Sardines
• Lake trout

You can also find eggs that have extra omega-3 fatty acids because the hens that produce the eggs consume a diet of flaxseeds.

4: Brightly Colored Berries

Berries with brightly colored coverings or flesh contain antioxidants that will reduce the inflammation throughout your body. Look for these berries in the fresh, frozen or canned fruit areas of a grocery store:

• Blueberries
• Strawberries
• Raspberries
• Cranberries
• Black currants
• Goji berries

Not only can you eat berries raw, but also, you can add the fruit to smoothies or baked goods.

5: Delicious Avocados

Avocados contain high levels of vitamin C and B6 along with monounsaturated fat. While some types of fat are bad for your cardiovascular system, monounsaturated fat can raise the good cholesterol levels in your bloodstream while reducing the bad cholesterol levels. In addition, an avocado contains a lot of fiber to improve the functions of your intestinal tract to prevent absorption of harmful fats. You can consume an avocado raw after removing its large seed and thick peel, or you can use it in a dip recipe.

6: Pungent Garlic

Garlic is related to leeks, shallots or onions, and consumption of this food can reduce your cholesterol levels. This herb adds flavor to many of your recipes while helping to protect your cardiovascular system. You can add garlic cloves to recipes that contain pasta, fish or vegetables. Garlic is an inexpensive food that is easy to find at a local supermarket, and it is also available in powdered or liquid formats.

7: Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts and Macadamia Nuts

You might think that nuts are bad for you because the food is high in calories, but many types of nuts contain omega-3 fatty acids that will reduce your high-density lipoproteins while increasing your low-density lipoproteins. Some of the best nuts to consume include:

• Macadamia nuts
• Cashews
• Walnuts
• Almonds

Remember that a portion of nuts is small, so learn to count or measure the foods first.

4 Foods To Power Up Your Immune System

A healthy immune system is essential for preventing illness and disease. Eating foods with the right vitamins, minerals and other nutrients will boost your immune system so that it is better prepared to fight viruses, bacteria and other toxins.

A well-balanced diet is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, which is critical for warding off disease. Several vitamins and minerals play an important role in boosting the body’s inherent defenses. Many of these nutrients like selenium aid in the manufacture of glutathione, which helps prevent illness and lowers the incidence of infection. Other crucial nutrients include vitamins A, C, D and E as well as B-complex vitamins and trace elements, such as magnesium and zinc. When creating a meal plan, you should include foods that are rich in antioxidants that also contain glutamate, glycine and cysteine, which are amino acids that serve as building blocks for glutathione. Incorporating the following foods is a great way to provide your immune system the nutrients it needs.


In addition to being low in fat and calories, beans or legumes are rich in B vitamins, potassium and dietary fiber. They are an excellent source of glutamate and glycine. Beans contain health-promoting substances known as saponins, which clinical trials show reduce cholesterol and the blood glucose response. They also lower the incidence of kidney stones. A good source of protein for building healthy cells, beans can be substituted for several servings of meat each week. In addition to boosting your immune system, navy, pinto, red and black beans have anti-inflammatory properties. Beans can be added to chili, soups and salads. Eating a cup of beans each week also supplies nutrients like copper.


Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like arugula, bok choy, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamins A, C and E as well as dietary fiber. They also contain disease-fighting phytochemicals and numerous other minerals like selenium. Studies show that these vegetables protect against cancer and reduce oxidative stress by boosting your immune system. Cruciferous vegetables contain the important nutrient sulforaphane, which enhances the liver’s ability to flush out toxins that can damage cells in your body. Broccoli also has antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Cold Water Fish

Wild, cold-water fish like cod, herring, salmon and tuna are a rich source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. They are also low in saturated fat. Higher dietary intake of fish lowers the incidence of coronary artery disease, and cardiovascular mortality. Along with supplying glutamate and glycine, fish is also one of the few sources of vitamin D. Wild salmon contains astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant. Clinical studies have confirmed that the nutrient has a beneficial effect on the immune system. In addition to increasing strength and endurance, fish also improves cardiovascular health and eye health while lowering cholesterol.


A popular superfood, spinach is packed with folic acid, beta-carotene and vitamin C, which improve the immune system. Along with antioxidants, spinach is also a good source of potassium and magnesium. These minerals help the body stay hydrated and manage energy levels. Spinach is also a good source of vitamins A and E. You can substitute kale and Swiss chard, which is high in beta-carotene and calcium as well as vitamins C and K.

Your diet should sustain the health and work of your immune system. Eating a healthy diet filled with a variety of foods that contain essential nutrients will improve your immune system and lower your risk of illness. Consuming nutritious food is a holistic way to protect your health. If fresh food is not available, frozen versions are a suitable substitute. 

Sedentary Lifestyle May be Linked to Dementia

Most of society understands that moving your body is an important component of staying healthy at any age. Weight control, cardiovascular health and other benefits are the main side effects to consistent exercise. Currently, doctors are even discovering that movement also helps patients with possible dementia in their future. Patients who remain sedentary for most of the day are at a high risk for Alzheimer's and other cognitive decline.

Oxygen's Role in the Body

Every cell in your body depends on oxygen for sustained life. As you breathe in deeply, the air molecules move quickly through your lungs and into the bloodstream. Your blood acts as a transport for oxygen, which forces this molecule to every part of your body. As you exercise, more oxygen saturates the blood. Researchers believe that consistent exercise allows this oxygen to permeate the brain, which leads to better cognitive functions into the senior years.

Questions Still Abound

Patients might ask their doctors about the right kind of exercises to perform that ward off dementia. However, researchers have yet to discover the perfect recipe of exercises that truly impact cognitive decline. Currently, the best advice is simply to get active. Taking a walk, playing tennis and other activities that increase your heart rate are smart choices. You simply want to get your blood flowing as you move around on a consistent basis. Make it a habit to exercise at least a little bit each day. Walking around the shopping mall can be a mild exercise that helps.

Hope With HIIT Exercises

Researchers are currently looking at HIIT or high-intensity training exercises as a means to improve cognitive abilities in seniors. This complex term simply means that you need to exercise with variations to the effort. Experienced runners might sprint for 30 seconds and walk for one minute. They can alternate this pattern to surprise the cells into working harder and then resting. Researchers believe that this effort might help with dementia because the controlled stress forces the heart and brain to work harder than before.

Considering Patients With Genetic Predisposition 

Dementia is known to move through families because of genetic predispositions. It's not a guarantee that the disease will arise in any one person, however. Those genes must be activated at some point. Patients with a genetic predisposition can fight off dementia with exercise too. The added oxygen into the body might cause that gene to remain inactive as the senior years progress. Patients must still work closely with their doctors so that any signs of cognitive decline are caught early on.

Other Mental Exercises

Physical exercise is critical to a high, quality of life in your senior years. However, you also need mental exercise as well. Take an art or academic class so that your mind is challenged. Take up a hobby that requires problem solving and other mental gymnastics. Playing intellectual games, such as advanced board games, can also help your mental sharpness. Exercising your brain on a variety of levels will only help it remain healthy with a doctor's care to back up any concerns.

Marked attitude changes in seniors are hallmarks of cognitive decline. If you notice that a loved one is struggling with everyday memory, such as locating the car keys, work with a medical professional as soon as possible. There are some therapies that can help patients before dementia sets in. Getting active is simply a basic solution that can ward off mental issues for many of the senior years.