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Do You Know Your Family Health History?

English: A large family having fun by the water.

Just how well do you know your family health history?  I suspect many of us know bits and pieces but not the full picture of our genetic history.  I strongly suggest you research and record your family health history during this holiday season. Since we celebrate with our families during the holiday season, it’s an excellent time to get your family health history. Grab the video camera, your smartphone, or an old school tape recorder and pose the following questions- “Does anyone in the family have a  history of Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, heart disease, stroke, Parkinson’s Disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, thyroid disease,  or any other chronic disease?”  Did you  know that with any of these diseases you have an increased risk for developing memory problems and other cognitive deficits?

By doing a little research into your genes, you have the ability to map out a healthier lifestyle. It’s never too late to make positive lifestyle changes whether you’re a senior, a baby boomer, in your 40’s or 30’s, or in college. I challenge you to do some research and discover the age of your oldest living blood relative.  By the way, mine was 115 or 116. I find that truly amazing!  Try to brainstorm as a family what this relative did to achieve such healthy aging and longevity.  Don’t be surprised to discover that these relatives probably have some things in common. They were active and kept moving, stayed engaged and connected with people, and consumed a healthy diet. No junk food or fast food on a regular basis.  Strive for that  kind of lifestyle to achieve optimal  health.  Don’t forget to include  regular exercise as a part of a healthy lifestyle!  Why not take advantage of every possibility to lessen your chances of developing memory loss or suffering a cognitive decline? Remember, memory loss does not have to be a part of the normal aging process! Be in command of your health and your life!

So, take charge of your health! Engage your brain with challenging and fun brain fitness activities. Let’s build your cognitive reserve through some mentally stimulating activities. Learn a new game,  learn a new language, enroll in a class, participate in a social group, and  EXERCISE!  Try some BrainMasters’ Brain Boosters! One of the secrets to longevity is to achieve a healthy balance between a healthy mind, body, and spirit!

Let us know the age of your oldest relative, too! Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza and Happy New Year!  Now is the time for YOU commit to your health!

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