A marathon first for Alzheimer’s Society in memory of my grandmother

A marathon first for Alzheimer’s Society in memory of my grandmother

I can’t believe I’ve completed my first ever marathon! I’ve only been on my Feel Good fitness journey the last 10 years and I’ve only been a Personal Trainer for three years. Although I love my Feel Good Walks and “Snacks”, I never imagined I’d do a marathon at the age of 43!

It’s been so lovely to be able to support the Alzheimer’s Society charity since my MBE, as it’s very close to my heart after seeing my dear grandmother suffer for the last decade of her life with this devastating disease.

My Nani, Kasturben Shah, passed away in 2016 aged 97 years old. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 87, and due to her care requirements, was later moved to a care home.

Moving her to a care home was a very difficult decision, especially for an Indian family. It was very difficult for us to see the mother of our family decline as she did. We saw her lose her memory, ability to move and speak. I cried every time we visited her at the care home. She passed away peacefully 4 years ago but she lives with us forever.

I have spent much of this year passionately promoting the health benefits of exercise to treat, prevent and reduce risks of rising dementia, after people living with the condition have been worst hit by coronavirus. I have provided Alzheimer’s Society with tips to help us stay active over the winter and spring. I also took part in their Memory Walk in March and helped raise awareness with a special feature in ‘Waitrose Weekend Magazine’ encouraging us to “Stay active to fight off dementia!” using my concept of Exercise Snacking.

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I have provided tips and workouts to all the 7,000+ participants signed up to the Treks this summer, including a recent special Live Workout. I also did a takeover of Alzheimer Society’s Instagram page on the day with livestream updates from the marathon!

Every three minutes someone in the UK is told they have dementia, and there is no cure. I want to keep raising awareness of the power of exercise in “keeping our brains fit” and reducing risks of dementia.

Did you know that early onset of dementia can start in your 30s-40s? Exercise can delay the onset of dementia and by hitting the guidelines of physical activity we can reduce our risks of Alzheimer’s by up to 45 per cent.

Exercise plays a huge role later on in life also and I continue to provide Free Seniors Workouts for the elderly and vulnerable, as well as to Care Homes, every Friday, which are all saved for replay on my You Tube Channel.

The impact of staying active for people with dementia’s quality of life and health is huge, with evidence to suggest that physical activity improves confidence and the wellbeing and may slow down mental decline.

If you’d like to donate, any amount it’s so greatly appreciated. All the money goes straight back into work supporting people with dementia and researching into care and cure: Just Giving.

Lavina Mehta MBE is an award-winning personal trainer and wellness coach. In her regular Feel Good series with iGlobal, she shares stories from her journey into fitness, workout tips and announcements about her upcoming online sessions.

*Info Feel Good with Lavina: Free Exercise Snacks & 21 Day Feel Good Workout Plan here on Instagram TV; FREE Seniors Workout sessions every Friday on Zoom; and saved sessions, many translated into Gujarati with her mother-in-law, here on YouTube.

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