Power of Facebook: Save a Life with One Post

 Harriet Jodi Levin’s Status Update Saturday, September 8, 2012.  She writes:

My dear funny friend Allison Ziering Walmark with those fabulous perky ***** and billion dollar smile posted an article a few weeks ago written by her friend Lauren Cahn Schoenfeld about surviving breast cancer. Because Allison posts the most fabulous and amusing things on FB , I felt compelled to read this article.

 

I got through the first few paragraphs, and there were too many similarities to ignore. I was inspired by this article and decided that is was possible that the lump I had found on my breast might be something. It was, and it turned out I had breast cancer.

 

Today thanks to Allison’s posting of this article, and her ” behind the scenes” love and support… I AM CANCER FREE!!!!!!!! I intend to stay that way with radiation and possibly a little chemo. Alison..you are my HERO!!! I owe you and Lauren my life..I really do. I always loved you, but now I am indebted to you FOR LIFE!!! xoxo

 
 
Allison Ziering Wallmark Replies:
 When next you see me, I shall escape into a phone booth and don my fabulous “S” sequined shirt and even more fabulous cape! You did this one yourself, sweet friend! You’re the Superwoman!
 
 
[Read in Rod Serling’s VOICE]   The power of Facebook.  You never know when something you post will be the right message for the right person at the right time.  Allison delivered a message that reached her friend when she needed to hear it most.

Miguel Ruiz says messengers are angels.  Everyone is a messenger.  Some operate on a higher vibrational frequency than others.  They sense who needs what when.

Ruiz wrote the book, “The Four Agreements”.  He asks that you think about what kind of message you deliver to people you love the most. Most importantly, what message do you tell yourself.  He says deliver one of truth to yourself and  others because truth exists without you.  Especially in health.

People often ignore early warning signs.  Symptoms will exist despite that.  Truth exists without you.  When a health article catches your attention –there may be a reason–a message for you.  Don’t discard it.  It could save your life.

Allison Ziering Wallmark is an angel.  Thanks to her, Harriet Jodi Levin is cancer free and filled with gratitude.  Another example of the power of Facebook.  And friends.  Connected by powerful brain waves.  Transported with heart.

I am no longer alive when Miguel Ruiz writes “The Four Agreements” or the Fifth one.  Or when Facebook or these two lovely ladies were born.  That’s why you have just entered another dimension.  The Health Zone.  [cue music]     -Maria Dorfner
 
“There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.” —Rod Serling
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For Symptoms of Breast Cancer and to Find a Low Cost Screening Center Near You Please Click on http://www.nbcam.org/
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Exercise and Your Mental Performance By Howard LeWine, M.D. Brigham and Women’s Hospital

We hear so much about the physical benefits of regular exercise. What effects do exercise and staying fit have on our cognitive function — the mental activities by which we acquire and process information that becomes knowledge?

Researchers have done experiments to look at how well people perform mentally while exercising and immediately after an exercise session. Other researchers have examined the association between fitness level and age-related cognitive decline.

Unlike physical measurements that can be taken with some precision, defining tests of mental performance and exercise to get reliable outcomes is a much greater challenge. Despite the obstacles, researchers have made some headway.

 

Mental Performance Tasks Influenced by Exercise

During a session of moderately intense aerobic exercise, mental performance improves in several measurable ways

  • Reaction time
  • Perception and interpretation of visual images
  • Earlier automation of certain skills, what is sometimes called muscle memory
  • Executive control processes

Of these, exercise exerts the most positive influence on tasks of executive control, such as:

  • Planning
  • Scheduling
  • Coordination of people, places, events, etc.
  • Working memory — the brain’s ability to temporarily store and manage the information required to carry out complex mental functions
  • Inhibition — the ability to block out unnecessary distractions

Personally, I like to catch up on my medical journals while riding a stationary bike. I find that my concentration and comprehension are better than at any other time.

 

Impact of Exercise Duration

Improved cognitive function begins to show at about 20 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise and will be maintained for about another 40 minutes. Beyond 60 minutes of exercise, fatigue is likely to become a factor. For very fit individuals, enhanced mental performance could continue beyond an hour.

Once fatigue sets in, you start to lose the mental edge you have gained. If exercise continues, then mental performance actually will decline to a level lower than where you started.

The positive cognitive effects of exercising for 20 to 60 minutes are primarily related to increase in blood flow to the brain and stimulation of nerve cells to release more neurotransmitters (chemicals that send signals between brain cells). These positive effects will be maintained for a short time after the exercise session as long as you have not become overly fatigued. If you expect to have a long and hard workout, don’t plan on doing any important decision making or complex mental functions immediately afterward.

 

Influence of Exercise Intensity

Moderate intensity aerobic exercise that keeps you breathing a little faster and makes you sweat is probably the optimal intensity level to get the mental boost. If you monitor your heart rate to guide your intensity level, you want to strive for about 75% of your maximal heart rate.

With moderate intensity exercise, your body is activating the sympathetic nervous system and raising levels of adrenalin. These are likely the two main factors driving improvements in mental performance.

At high intensity of exercise, you will perceive your level of exertion and this sensation will likely interfere with concentration and ability to perform mental tasks. Personally, when I am over 80% of my maximal heart rate, I am only thinking about keeping my breathing under control while visualizing a beautiful, peaceful place.

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Fitness Level and Cognitive Function

Generally healthy people age 55 and over who are physically fit are less likely to lose cognitive function than sedentary people in similar health. However, unlike the improved measurements of cognitive function seen during and shortly after exercise, levels of fitness as related to mental performance assessments can only be suggested.

Although some indirect evidence is compelling, there is no direct evidence that fit people operate at a higher mental performance level in between their exercise sessions. Any association of being more fit and maintaining higher cognitive function may or may not indicate a direct relationship. People who are more fit tend to have greater motivation, eat a healthier diet, and be more engaged in their own health care.

 

Fluid Intake and Exercise

Dehydration is associated with a marked reduction in mental performance, independent of whether it is exercise-induced or caused by other factors. Researchers have shown that the decreased cognitive function immediately after exercise-induced dehydration can be quickly reversed once fluids are given to return body weight to the pre-exercise level.

One study found that hyperhydration — extra fluid beyond what is lost — improved mental performance more than just replacing fluid losses. This principle should not be taken to extreme, since overhydration with water during prolonged exercise can dangerously lower blood levels of sodium (a condition called hyponatremia).

Water and sports drinks are equally effective at maintaining hydration during exercise. Sports drinks that contain simple carbohydrates (sugar) may provide a mental advantage for other reasons.

 

Carbohydrates To Feed the Brain

The brain needs a constant supply of glucose to function normally. During exercise, the body preferentially uses glucose as the main energy source for contracting muscles, including the heart and the muscles used to expand the lungs. At moderate intensity exercise of 20 to 60 minutes, there is still plenty of sugar available to the brain to allow the improved mental performance noted above. If exercise is more prolonged, especially at a high intensity level, then the amount of blood sugar available to the brain may be an issue.

Studies have shown that cognitive function is better when fluids are replaced with a sugar-containing solution rather than a drink without any calories. However, when blood glucose levels are measured, they are not low enough to say that hypoglycemia is the explanation. More likely, the sugar-containing solutions improve endurance and lessen the perceived level of exertion. Improving both of these factors positively impacts mental performance.

 

Boosting Cognition Now and for the Future

In the short run, each session of aerobic exercise on a stable piece of equipment such as a stationary bike, treadmill or elliptical machine has the potential to give you a double benefit for your time spent. Not only will you be improving your fitness, your ability to concentrate on and perform mental tasks also will likely be enhanced.

In the long run, physical activity appears to be at least as important in staying mentally sharp as keeping your mind active and maintaining strong social connections. Multiple studies have shown that people who exercise regularly will have less age-related cognitive decline and lose less brain tissue seen on MRI and PET scans.

 

 

 

Howard LeWine, M.D., is chief editor of Internet publishing, Harvard Health Publications. He is a clinical instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. LeWine has been a primary care internist and teacher of internal medicine since 1978.

Reviewed by Faculty of Harvard Medical School 

5 Easy Memory Boosters

Whether the problem is cognitive impairment or normal aging, try these assists.

By , Caring.com senior editor
finger and a string

Having problems remembering to take pills, buy grocery items, or make appointments? Everyone experiences memory problems sometimes. Memory experts often recommend the following simple aids to people with mild cognitive impairment or early symptoms of dementia. But anybody (including harried caregivers!) who’s ever forgotten something important can benefit.

1. A GPS system

Remembering routes can be challenging, especially if they’re not frequent destinations. And following written directions can be difficult for someone with early dementia, or anyone who doesn’t want to be a distracted driver.

Simple solution: a global positioning (GPS) navigation system in the car. Prices have been dropping since these gizmos were first introduced; you can buy a simple unit for less than $200. Many drivers find it easier to follow verbal instructions than to have to read them. And if you make a mistake, the GPS autocorrects and redirects you.

2. Medication reminders

Medication management is the bane of both caregivers and relatively healthy adults looking after themselves. Fortunately a variety of tools exist to help you remember to dispense, or take, meds on time.

Medical alarms can be programmed to send you an e-mail message or a beep to a special watch. Some pill containers themselves will send visual messages. Learn more about medication management for no more missed pills.

3. A small portable notebook

Not all memory aids are high-tech. The lowly notebook can be a lifesaver when it comes to remembering names, details, and to-do lists. The trick is to have the notebook handy at all times. Very small books (such as Moleskine‘s 2.5 by 4 inch extra-small version) that slip into a pocket or purse work well.

Train yourself to write down everything you don’t want to slip away — the names of those present at a meeting, the sudden thought to call for a haircut appointment, items to pick up at the grocery store on your way home.

The act of writing it down helps to secure a thought in your mind — and if you forget, you can look it up.

4. A don’t-lose basket or shelf

This idea amps up the old adage about “a place for everything.” Dedicate a single basket or box toall key items that are often misplaced: car keys, house key, reading glasses, sunglasses, medications, and anything else used regularly — even cell phone, TV remote, and sweaters. (Note: For someone with dementia, you’d want to store medications out of sight and out of reach, to avoid accidental overdosing.)

5. A centralized household calendar

It’s hard enough to remember your own priorities, let alone everyone else’s. Whether your household contains five people and three generations or just one person and a pet, post an oversized calendar in a central place (such as the kitchen). Use a different colored marker to write down each family member’s appointments, invitations, and travels (or, for a pet, dates with the vet or groomer).

Get in the habit of looking at the calendar every morning and consulting it before you make new appointments. Electronic calendars work well for many people, but for others, they’re “out of sight, out of mind.” A large planner in your line of vision every day is harder to ignore.

Visit http://www.caring.com for more 20 Easy Ways to Boost Your Memory