Often times when we think of health the first item that comes to mind is the absence of disease or illness. “I do not have this, that, or the other, I must be healthy”. Well that is the way health has been looked at in the past.
Health defined is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing.
In the United States we have started to create a trend, as a society, we are living longer. Life expectancy is increasing, and trends point towards a continued rise. However, health span, the years of one’s life that is generally healthy, and free of disease and impairment is not increasing. Essentially we are living longer, but the latter years are often filled depression, loneliness, and sedentary state, all of which complicate the aging process.
As lifespan continues to increase across the United States, we must make it a point to increase healthspan in a linear fashion. LiveWell Southwest Florida is your number one option for that trend to begin.
Many look at a gym membership, a nutrition plan, or fitness professionals as a cost. Lets look at this differently.
Scenario 1: You pull money from your checking account to spend as ‘fun money’ or a ‘rainy day’ allowance. Overtime this account is going to be depleted and ultimately have a balance of zero.
Scenario 2: You take that ‘fun money’ or the ‘rainy day allowance’ and place it into an investment account. The money is “gone”, but it has the power to grow so that one day you can have more to spend, and more to enjoy.
This concept applies to your health as well. The up front cost on nutrition plans, fitness professionals, or a gym membership is NOT a cost, it is an INVESTMENT on your future health. The benefits associated with regular exercise are shown to improve health in countless areas. The benefits and effects will not be seen over night, but we can promise we will beat commonly understood theme of doubling your money in 10 years.
Ask yourself one question, why do you live in beautiful southwest Florida?
That’s right. We all live in paradise because we want to enjoy everything it has to offer. We escaped the harsh winters of the northeast, and the ever-changing climate of the mid-west. Why? Because we knew that there was life to be enjoyed 365 days a year.
We all established a life here in southwest Florida so we could enjoy life Florida has to offer whether its getting away to enjoy an afternoon at the beach, playing a round of golf with the guys, or the ladies, playing tennis or pickle ball, enjoying the nature trails, shopping at local farmers markets, or enjoying the positivity the sunshine brings.
Living a sedentary lifestyle will not allow you to enjoy all the beauty this area has to offer. A sedentary lifestyle brings about added stress, a compromised immune system, and complications during the aging process.
Walking is step number one, lets progress along that health meter and get you back to what you have always loved!
The three-element program is incorporated to all personalized programs for those battling chronic conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. The reason for the three-element program is because of the potential effectiveness of each phase.
Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease are neurodegenerative diseases, in that over time the brain loses brain cell due to death and inactivity. The three elements implemented each day have the ability to slow the detrimental effects through neuroplasticity.
Neuroplasticity is the brains ability to recognize itself by forming new neural connections. The brain does not lose this ability as you age, or if you are diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease. The key is stimulating the process and allowing for growth of those neurons and neural connections. Neuroplastisticty allows for neurons to compensate for injury (such as a stroke) or disease (such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease).
The three elements implemented into each program include, physical activity including balance, strength, and cardiovascular training combined with music listening, and social interaction. Lastly, each session is concluded with mental stimulation.
Ultimately, the combination of physical exercise followed by mental stimulation is the necessary formula from promoting growth in the hippocampus at any age (Kepperman, 2008) ** Physical exercise, mental stimulation, social interaction, and activities that reduce chronic stress are proving to protect against cognitive decline and dementia.
As middle age approaches, the brain begins to degenerate - individuals become immobile, they see less, hear less, and process less new information. This begins the process of atrophy within the brain due to lack of stimulation. Exercise is the most influential tool at our disposal to battle against the onset of atrophy of the brain. Physical exercise is step one; this stimulates the growth of new neural connections, and neurons. The key is promoting the growth, and survival of the newly created neurons and neural connections.
When the brain is challenged through activities and surroundings it is altered through the formation of new synapses. The new synapses created leads to improved communication among brain cells. The increased communication among brain cells allows for more ideas, thoughts, and memories to connect. The mental stimulation following physical exercise is key in promoting the growth of these newly established neural connections and neurons.
Music is normally incorporated into each individuals’ exercise session, the fact of the matter is everyone enjoys listening during a period of time where they may be a bit uncomfortable from the physical exercise. The main reason for the use of music is the potential it carries to unlock memories for individuals. It has been found that there is a sweet spot of music listening (typically music heard during the teen / young adult years) that activates the medial prefrontal cortex. The medial prefrontal cortex is one of the final regions of the brain to atrophy during the dementia progression, but if we can continue to stimulate this area it may slow the progression and open the door for continued therapies.
Music was originally thought to only stimulate one hemisphere of the brain. Recent research has disproven this theory, and we now know that music stimulates both hemispheres within the brain, and again, has the ability to unlock memory from different stages of one’s life.
Simply call our office at (239) 689 – 9605 to set up an assessment. You will be prompted to provide very minimal information including address in which sessions will occur (private residence, community facility, etc.), who the assessment is for with a small background, and what interested you in LiveWell Southwest Florida.
The assessment process includes:
The assessment process may be considered extensive to some. The LiveWell Southwest Florida assessment process contains three parts in order to build a program that is fit just for you, or your loved one.
The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is used as a tool that may be referenced by a neurologist, or the assessment may be given again provided an appointment is recommended.
The other two assessment pieces are used to understand current health status and movement patterns. These assessment pieces will be used to determine progression along an individualized program designed to fit you, or your loved ones needs, correct muscular imbalances, reduce and eliminate pain, and improve overall physical functioning and performance.