Exercise Can Improve Memory and Brain Health


Alzheimers and its research means much to me.  Both my mother and my sister have died from Alzheimers related causes.  Now there is nothing to indicate that Alzheimers is hereditary.  However, you can certainly feel my apprehension as two members of my family had the disease.


Thus I read and research anything I can get hold of to find out more information.  Also I find it particularly interesting that pet therapy accounts for 59% popularity as a means of providing comfort to individuals near the end of life.  Since I’ve just rescued two white boxers, sisters actually, I have new happiness in my life.  After the trauma of my husband’s suicide, it took nine months to reach this high point.  Who knows what else is waiting around the corner. 


Here is some most inspiring information for you to digest. 





Alternative Therapies For End-of-Life Care:   


Almost 42% of hospice care providers in the United States offer complementary and alternative therapies   (CAT) as a means of providing comfort and alleviating pain to individuals near the end of life, according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.


Analyzing data from the 2007 National Home and Hospice Care Survey, researchers found that the most popular CATs are massage (72%), supportive group services (69%), music therapy (62%), pet therapy (59%), and guided imagery or relaxation (53%).




News to Use Regarding Alzheimers:

  A section of the brain involved in memory grew in size in older people who regularly took brisk walks for a year, researchers reported Monday.

The new study reinforces previous findings that aerobic exercise seems to reduce brain atrophy in early-stage Alzheimer’s patients, and that walking leads to slight improvement on mental tests among older people with memory problems.

The new analysis, led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, appears in Tuesday’s edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study involved 120 sedentary people, ages 55 to 80. They were divided into two groups: Half began a program of walking for 40 minutes a day, three days a week to increase their heart rate; the others only did stretching and toning exercises.

The hippocampus, a region of the brain involved in memory, tends to shrink slightly with age and that’s what happened in the group that only did stretching. But among people who took part in the walking program, the hippocampus region of the brain grew in size by roughly 2%.

Researchers found that “in the aerobic exercise group, increased hippocampal volume was directly related to improvements in memory performance.”

“We think of atrophy of the hippocampus in later life as almost inevitable,” Kirk Erickson, professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, lead author, said in a statement.

Added Art Kramer, director of the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois and senior author: “Results of our study are particularly interesting as they suggest even modest amounts of exercise by sedentary older adults can lead to substantial improvements in memory and brain health.”


Death Is A Challenge – So Is Love!


After losing my husband, Martin, a few months ago I have been grieving and processing and healing.  It’s a long process – suicide survivors have such a difficult journey to travel. 

Leo Buscaglia said, “Death is a challenge.  It tells us not to waste time…It tells us to tell each other right now that we love each other.” 

After nine months I knew it was time.  I rescued two dogs, white Boxers.  They’re sisters.  Casey is deaf and looks to Miley all the time.  But don’t think that Casey is needy.  Not her – she is definitely a lot of action, fun and love all jumbled into a beautiful girl.   These girls tell me every day that they love me unconditionally  just by their actions.  They want to always be near me, and look for me even while they’re playing.  They want to kiss me endlessly (okay so it’s licking – but it’s what dogs do!) and they’re so forgiving.

We just celebrated their 3rd birthday on Sunday, January 30th.  It was gorgeous weather in the 70’s and bright sunshine.  We played outside running around with dog toys, and chasing a tennis ball.  They ran around the yard and the pool like it was their own personal doggy park!  They looked a lot like gazelles!

What love we are given, we’ll have forever.  What love we fail to give, will be lost for all eternity. — Leo Buscaglia


We went for a short walk also, which they love to do.  And then they celebrated their “Birthday” with their  special treat:  Doggie Ice Cream Treats.  They absolutely adored these non-milk items.  I opted for my personal Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich – human style!

For the first time in nine months, I felt the love, unconditionally, and laughed and smiled endlessly.  Then I cried – happy tears for them, sad tears for losing Martin – and they came over and sat beside me knowingly, quiet and staring up at me.  As I dried my eyes they rested their chins on my lap and watched me with deep brown fixed eyes.  I could only smile as they reached up kissed my cheek – more like licking really.  But I knew what in dog terms they were saying.  We now are family!  We share a bond of unconditional love knowing whatever we do, we’re forgiven.  Why?  Because we love each other.  What a lovely lesson to learn isn’t it?

I have two magnets in the shape of dog paws on my refrigerator.  They say:  

And they both express the real meaning of love don’t they.  Not only with pets but also humans.  Think of this next time you need to scold your child – or even admonish your spouse!  No matter what, always, always tell them and show them you love them.  Time is too short for grudges.  Time is too short not to feel the love.

Open The Door – Let Yourself In


Entering into our own spirituality is a private journey.  Each of us will be drawn to a different doorway to begin on our personal path to awakening to a greater experience of ourselves.  Even though we may be taught certain philosophies or beliefs as children, we still need to find our own way of understanding and applying them in our lives.  For those who are raised without a spiritual framework, they may not even know their process as a form of spirituality.  But at some stage in their lives, whether in youth or adulthood, they are likely to recognize the quality of their beliefs, the ring of truth in their philosophy, and their dedication to their chosen purpose.






We all enter the doors of awareness differently,        



 it doesn’t matter how we get there or how long it takes.



Our inner guidance will lead us, so that we will be drawn to the right doorway for us — a doorway that only we can recognize by the way it makes us feel inside.  It could be a picture of an angel or the gift of a crystal.  We may meet someone special who shares their experiences with us in a way that we find intriguing.  While visiting the home of a friend we admire, we may notice a book or statue of a Buddha or an angel or some other god or idol, and ask why they chose those tools.  Or a word or phrase may catch our attention in a song.  For some they may find their way by walking through the experience of illness before they begin the search for what will help them to truly heal, while others may seek physical improvement and stumble across yoga or meditation — only to find it leads them to an unexpected place beyond the body.

As we awaken to ourselves and to life, we will become more attuned to what is right for us.  The universe speaks to all of us through infinite channels, but we each have our own frequency.  Others may share what worked for them, but only we can decide what truly makes us feel inspired, awakened, connected, fully conscious, aware and alive.  Whatever our path, it is perfect and is meant especially for us and that is what we must follow to find our true course in life.