Why do I take as much time as I can for exercise? Three words: Mom with Alzheimer's. According to an article published on www.alz.org, exercise at midlife could reduce the chance of developing dementia by up to 60%. Many sites are making similar claims, often stating that exercise (and diet too) reduces the change of developing Type 2 Diabetes, which statistically increases the risk of dementia.
Yes, Type 2 Diabetes preceded my mother's Alzheimer's, and high blood sugar runs in my family. Anyone who has lost a loved one to dementia knows what a long, slow, misery it is. My own mother first showed shocking signs of short-term memory loss almost 17 years ago. The disease progressed slowly and continually until she ended up bedridden in a nearly vegetative state, a condition in which she remains several years later.
The disease has not only put my mother in a sort of purgatory for many years, but has also devastated her family. A loving and self-sacrificing woman, life for my mom was always about her children, she took no time for her own care. In the end, her family is suffering along with her.
Now every time I do something for my own physical well-being, I don't grapple with guilt anymore. It's for myself and for my kids. I don't want them to deal with the pain of me not recognizing them one day, or to put the emotional, financial, and physical strain on them of the 24-hour care needed for a person with this illness.
The moral: Oftentimes, showing yourself love is the best way to show love for others.
Have a great week and take care of yourself! Blessings to you!