This one habit could help prevent dementia

Wellness trends may come and go, but some things—like mindfulness and avocado toast—are forever. But if you’ve yet to try the meditation technique, scientists have discovered a very compelling reason why you should give this soothing self-care practice a go.

According to a new study published in BMJ Open, anxiety may increase the risk of developing cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. But study authors suggest that meditative practices like mindfulness (which has been shown to help control anxiety) could potentially reduce this risk. 

University College London (UCL) scientists analyzed research involving more than 30,000 people and found that those who suffered moderate to severe anxiety in midlife were more likely to develop dementia later on. And while the reason for this link is unclear, they think that it could be because the body's responses to stress may speed up brain cell aging. 

But it’s not all bad news. The UCL team suggests that therapies that have been found to reduce anxiety, like mindfulness and meditation, could reduce the risk of later dementia (although they acknowledged that further research is needed). 

“Non-pharmacological therapies, including talking therapies and mindfulness-based interventions and meditation practices, that are known to reduce anxiety in midlife, could have a risk-reducing effect, although this is yet to be thoroughly researched,” the team said.

Time to get your om on. (And then make yourself some avo toast, because why the heck not?)

More interesting health benefits below!

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Health benefits of infrared saunas
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Health benefits of infrared saunas

Anti-aging

The Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy found near-infrared light therapy reduces wrinkles, improves skin tone, elasticity and firmness in 12 weeks. In fact, many notice their skin glowing after just one 30-minute session. 

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Heart health

A University if Missouri study found that infrared therapy showed a reduction in blood pressure after three 30 minute sessions a week -- for two consecutive weeks. Sunlighten's Cardio program combines near, mid and far infrared light for a natural way to lower blood pressure.

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Weight loss

Sunlighten's Weight Loss program is similar to a passive workout --  you sweat and burn calories by simply relaxing in a gently heated infrared sauna! The program works by raising your core body temperatures (inducing a sweat) as well as increasing your heart rate and blood flow.  

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Detoxification

It's not the amount of sweat that matters ... but the type of sweat.  According to Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, when you use a far infrared sauna, your sweat is 80-85% water and 15-20% toxins and heavy metals.  In a traditional sauna, your sweat is nearly all water with a small percent made up of salt. Detoxing regularly strengthens your immune system, improves digestion and is also shown to help with a variety of other health issues including chronic fatigue syndrome. 

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Pain relief

A 2003 study discovered that near-infrared light therapy boosts white blood cell production to reduce inflammation and swelling. Furthermore, it reduces lactic acid which allows the muscles to relax.

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