Maria Shriver: The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement Partners With Lifetime® For Enlightening “A Women’s Health Summit: It Starts With the Brain”

Award-winning journalist Maria Shriver and A+E Networks President & CEO Nancy Dubuc today announced that they will be joining forces on November 1, 2017, for an enlightening summit that will break new ground on the future of women’s brain health.

“A Women’s Health Summit: It Starts With the Brain” will convene leading scientists, thought-leaders and best-selling authors at Hearst Tower in New York City to discuss tackling one of the greatest health challenges of our time: protecting women’s minds from Alzheimer’s disease. Today, two-thirds of all Americans with Alzheimer’s are women, and no one has yet uncovered the answer why. Women also make up two-thirds of all of the caregivers in the U.S., which adds a significant physical, emotional and financial burden to their lives and affects the health and wellbeing of those around them.

Lifetime is the official media partner of The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, the organization founded by Maria Shriver to answer the question of why Alzheimer’s discriminates against women.

“Women in their early 60s are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as they are breast cancer, but most women are unaware of this increased risk,” said Maria Shriver. “By convening a summit on women’s brains and exploring what they can do to protect them at an early age – as early as 30 and 40 – we hope we can help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s in women. I’m so grateful to Lifetime for their partnership with The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement. Together, we hope this summit educates women to better understand their brains and empowers them to take control of the future of their health. In my mind, this is the ultimate women’s empowerment issue.”

“Now more than ever we need activists raising their voices on women’s issues,” said Nancy Dubuc, President & CEO of A+E Networks.  “Maria Shriver has become one of the leading voices and advocates on Alzheimer’s and women’s health and Lifetime is proud to partner with her to shine a light on these issues that impact millions of women and families all across America.”

The summit’s November 1 date aligns with the kick-off of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Family Caregivers Month, which was designated by President Ronald Reagan in 1983. Fewer than 2 million Americans had Alzheimer’s at the time. Now, that number has risen to 5.4 million and a new person being diagnosed every 66 seconds. Two-thirds of those brains belong to women.

Speakers at “A Women’s Health Summit: It Starts With the Brain” include:  Dr. Dale Bredesen, Founding President and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, and author of the New York Times best-selling book The End of Alzheimer’s; Dr. Lisa Mosconi, Associate Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell/NY Presbyterian; Dr. Martha Clare Morris, Director of the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging and the MIND Center for Brain Health; Marc Milstein, Ph.D. and founder of Dr. Milstein Education; Niki Leondakis, CEO of Equinox Fitness Clubs; and Bob Roth, Executive Director of the David Lynch Foundation.

Other leading voices who will share their stories and insights at the summit include: Sally Quinn, long-time Washington Post journalist and author of the best-selling Finding Magic; David Maddocks, CMO of Cole Haan; Dr. Richard Isaacson, founder of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic; Sheila Klehm, Sr. VP of Wealth Management, UBS; Lily Sarafan, CEO of Home Care Assistance; Sally Krawcheck, CEO of Ellevate, among others who have been impacted by Alzheimer’s and have taken active steps to meet its many challenges.
The summit will also reveal the results of a new national poll that takes the pulse on the state of women’s brain health today and their greatest health concerns for themselves and for their families in the future. The poll is co-sponsored by The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement and the DC-based Bipartisan Policy Center, a D.C.-based think tank that actively promotes bipartisanship to address the key challenges facing our nation.

Sponsors for the summit include Athletics and Fitness Association of America and National Academy of Sports Medicine.

“With 30 years of leadership in providing evidence-based protocols for personal trainers and group fitness instructors, all of us at NASM and AFAA are proud to partner with the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement in advancing important research around the power of cognitive training to mitigate and prevent the onset of this terrible disease,” said Laurie McCartney, president, Global Fitness & Wellness Solutions Ascend Learning.

“A Women’s Health Summit: It Starts With the Brain” will be live-streamed on the Facebook page of Maria Shriver 12 p.m. ET on November 1.

Researchers Find Group Exercise Improves Quality of Life and Reduces Stress Far More Than Individual Exercise

Researchers found working out in a group lowers stress by 26 percent and significantly improves quality of life, while those who exercise individually put in more effort but experienced no significant changes in their stress level and a limited improvement to quality of life, according to a study published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

“The communal benefits of coming together with friends and colleagues, and doing something difficult, while encouraging one another, pays dividends beyond exercising alone,” said Dayna Yorks, DO, lead researcher on this study.  “The findings support the concept of a mental, physical and emotional approach to health that is necessary for student doctors and physicians.”

Dr. Yorks and her fellow researchers at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine recruited 69 medical students—a group known for high levels of stress and self-reported low quality of life—and allowed them to self-select into a twelve-week exercise program, either within a group setting or as individuals. A control group abstained from exercise other than walking or biking as a means of transportation.
Every four weeks, participants completed a survey asking them to rate their levels of perceived stress and quality of life in three categories: mental, physical and emotional.
Those participating in group exercise spent 30 minutes at least once a week in CXWORX, a core strengthening and functional fitness training program. At the end of the twelve weeks, their mean monthly survey scores showed significant improvements in all three quality of life measures: mental (12.6 percent), physical (24.8 percent) and emotional (26 percent). They also reported a 26.2 percent reduction in perceived stress levels.
By comparison, individual fitness participants were allowed to maintain any exercise regimen they preferred, which could include activities like running and weight lifting, but they had to work out alone or with no more than two partners.  On average the solitary exercisers worked out twice as long, and saw no significant changes in any measure, except in mental quality of life (11 percent increase). Similarly, the control group saw no significant changes in quality of life or perceived stress.

“Medical schools understand their programs are demanding and stressful. Given this data on the positive impact group fitness can have, schools should consider offering group fitness opportunities,” said Dr. Yorks. “Giving students an outlet to help them manage stress and feel better mentally and physically can potentially alleviate some of the burnout and anxiety in the profession.”

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