Green Imagination

Your Blog for Sharing Green Ideas.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Healthy Lifestyle Linked to Alzheimer Prevention

This article in yesterday's Baltimore Sun states that leading a healthy lifestyle reduces individuals' risk for getting Alzheimer's.  The article pulls together the results of several studies that link an active physical and social life to lower risk levels.  But I ask, how can we possibly live healthy lives within the physical and social environments in which we live?

Most of us drive everywhere, particularly if we live in the suburbs.  The average commute time to work is something like 1 hour one way.  That's a lot of time in the car for just one day.  Plus, many of us sit at desks to work.  That's another 8-10 hours.  When we come home we sit for dinner (not that we should eat standing up), we sit in front of computers and we sit or lie down to watch TV.  This is nothing new--Americans generally live sedentary lifestyles. 

I live in the suburbs and honestly, I don't find suburbia conducive to social engagement.  That's not new either. 

Not to mention the fact that the Baltimore-Washington metro area is one of the most polluted areas in the country.

How could we possibly live better lives in such a crappy environment?  I'd say we need to make some serious structural changes to our lives, to our societies, to our environment.  Here's what I suggest (and many of these aren't really new either, but I figure I'd put them out there):

Let's first stop suburban sprawl.  Let's stop the developers from ripping up farmlands and woodlands and wetlands. 

Let's better public transportation so we can get people to walk more (like from their house to the bus or metro stop). 

Let's stop widening our roads!

Let's institute more public health programs that actually encourages people to GET OUTSIDE.

I'm sure there's plenty of ways we could restructure our society and even our culture (like banning McDonalds from advertising on TV).  Share your ideas on this here.


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