WE are all prone to lapses of memory and I am extremely forgetful for a person of my years. However, a German philosopher by the name of Friedrich Nietzsche, casts a positive light on it stating ‘The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.’

However, on a serious note, having dealt with elderly client matters on a regular basis and issues of dementia, it got my colleague Kate Clarke and I reflecting on our own future health and mortality.

We are increasingly instructed in matters of a sensitive nature regarding deterioration of people’s mental health, particularly as they age. In particular there is an increasing demand by relatives of ageing relatives for Lasting Powers of Attorney, as signs of dementia begin to creep in. It is sad but becoming an increasingly common reality, as people are living longer.

On reflection of this Kate and I looked into what can be done to reduce our risks of dementia and whilst it may seem obvious exercise was one of the top factors. With this in mind I was coerced (yes coerced) into running the Llanelli Half Marathon and more recently the Cardiff Bay 10k.

Whilst I cursed Kate as I took every arduous step around the courses, both sweaty and exhausted I felt not only a sense of achievement but I felt my general being lifted as a result. I have now reluctantly (in pursuit of good health) agreed and committed to run the Cardiff Half Marathon in October. Ever committed to the cause, Kate has gone one step further and is running Swansea Half Marathon in June for Maggie’s Cancer Care.

Whilst researching this subject another major factor that effects mental health is alcohol consumption, which is unfortunate given my love of red wine. As they say though, everything in moderation – and for me this also includes exercise.

So if you happen to see me out and about running, feel free to give me a motivational toot – I am out there running not only because it is nearly bikini season, but for my happy, healthy physical and mental well-being.

Juliet Phillips-James of Gomer Williams Solicitors writes for Llanelli Online.

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