It’s snowing like crazy this Thanksgiving morning here in Maine as I put together this blog post. During the night, an inch of rain preceded the whiteout so I’m sure there will be some ice hidden under the new cover of snow.
The wind is howling, clouds of white are swirling, and the air temperature is exactly 32 degrees. All of this adds up to me sitting beside the wood stove soaking up the heat before I fire up my heavily-studded-tire-equipped VW Golf and my wife Marcia and I creep out way down Route 1 to join two of her sisters and their families for a Thanksgiving feast.
Thanksgiving morning of 2018 had no snow fall; however, the mercury in the thermometer that day bottomed out at a bone chilling 5℉.
My neighbor Andy and I ride our bikes year ’round and up to now, have embraced a Thanksgiving morning tradition of riding our bikes for an hour and a half or so, usually reaching Camden Hills State Park.
Camden is a vacation destination in all seasons, and sits in a protected harbor off Penobscot Bay. It’s at sea level. Our houses face the ocean sited at some 450′ in elevation. All of this geographic data equals bike rides that undulate up and down on the numerous hills and little mountains that stretch from inland to the coast. It is a workout that invariably pushes our heart rates back and forth into the zone that is normally characterized by the upper reaches of an interval workout of moderate to more intense intensity.
This past Monday and Tuesday found me braving a drive of some 220 miles away to Pembroke, MA to visit with my 93 year old mother Isabel and bring her to a medical appointment. It’s a sad visit, only buffered by my appreciation that Isabel had experienced 90 good years of remarkably healthy life before she was diagnosed with late onset Alzheimer’s disease.
At my age, I worry if genes will overcome my efforts to remain cognitively intact as I age out. My father, Chester died at age 72 of congestive heart failure, before any noticeable decline in his memory. His own father died when Chester was a baby, but my dad’s mother, Mary, died of old age and likely Alzheimer’s. I was only little, but I do remember how strange it was for me to realize that in her later years, Mary was unable to recognize her own son.
The following Globe and Mail article came into my inbox a couple days a go. Do check it out:
“In 2017, a team led by the lab’s director, Jennifer Heisz, published a five-year study of more than 1,600 adults older than 65 that concluded that genetics and exercise habits contribute roughly equally to the risk of eventually developing dementia. Only one of those two factors is under your control, so researchers around the world have been striving to pin down exactly what sort of workout routine will best nourish your neurons.”
Any and I might have missed our bike rides this morning, but we’ll probably both be back at it tomorrow, doing what we can to keep moving and remembering today all those that we treasure as we sit around the tables of bounty.
full article here –>via New study shows the right workout routine can help fight dementia – The Globe and Mail