Category Archives: Aging

Mediterranean/MIND Diet Seriously Fights Alzheimer’s/Dementia

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Striking findings from two large-scale studies and two smaller studies show that following the Mediterranean diet or the related MIND diet can reduce the risk of dementia by one-third! The studies were reported at the recent 2017 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London.

The first study (Neuroprotective Diets …. abstract, full text) looked at the eating habits of almost 6,000 older adults (average age of 68) enrolled in the Health and Retirement Study, sponsored by the U.S. National Institute on Aging. The study is representative of the total US population, and as such, the results are widely applicable to the general public. Specifically, following the Mediterranean or MIND diet in general leads to 30%–35% lower risk of cognitive impairment during aging. Especially notable is the fact that the benefits appear to be a ‘sliding scale:’ “The more people stayed on those diets, the better they functioned cognitively,” said lead researcher Claire McEvoy.

The second study (The Mind Diet and Incident Dementia, Findings from the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study; sponsored by National Institutes on Aging) examined the MIND diet’s effectiveness for more than 7,000 women. Similar to the first study, women closely following the MIND guidelines were 34% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, while those moderately following the guidelines were 21%–24% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s.

An important observation is that these diets were originally developed to help improve cardiovascular health. Thus, following these diets will provide potential protection for both brain and heart health.

The third study (from Sweden: Which Dietary Index May Predict Preserved Cognitive Function in Nordic Older Adults?) enrolled more than 2,000 people and found that those eating a healthy diet called the Nordic Prudent Dietary Pattern (a diet related to the Mediterranean and MIND diets) for more than six years experienced better brain health.

The fourth study looked at the problem in the opposite direction. It looked at 330 people (average age 80) who followed a dietary pattern encouraging inflammation (so a diet “opposite” to the Mediterranean/MIND diets). These people performed poorly on brain games, and MRI scans showed that they also had a smaller total volume of brain gray matter. So this study negatively corroborates the outcomes of the first 3 studies.

Here is the Alzheimer’s Association Press Release about the four studies:
Healthy Eating Habits May Preserve Cognitive Function And Reduce The Risk Of Dementia

And here are several media stories about the presentations:
Mediterranean style diet may prevent dementia
Mediterranean-style diet linked to lower risk of dementia
Fight Dementia With Food: Following A Mediterranean Diet May Improve Brain Health, Studies Suggest
A Healthy Diet May Help Ward Off Dementia
Could the Mediterranean Diet Help Fight Dementia? Here’s What We Know

All the links have been added to Health > Diet

Update: Aging vs Exercise Protecting Telomeres

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Previously, Physical Activity Staves Off Aging: Get Out There! described work relating physical activity to aging as measured by the lengths of telomeres in white blood cells. A new study has extended this to telomere length in heart muscle, a significant measure of heart health. So this provides even more reason to hit the gym or hit the road running or biking.

Here are two articles describing the work:

Endurance training may have a protective effect on the heart [2017]

Maryland Study Shows that Exercise Protects the Heart’s DNA Structure

Here is a link to the published research:

Acute exercise activates p38 MAPK and increases the expression of telomere-protective genes in cardiac muscle. [2017]

All the links have been posted in both Physical Exercise and Aging

Category: Aging, Announcements

Your Circadian Clock vs Aging Stress

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Surprise! Your circadian clock has alarms set to turn on a group of rhythmic stress-related genes as you grow older. A new study from Oregon State University (conducted with fruit flies, but applicable to human bodies) discovered a collection of genes that are part of a previously unknown stress-response mechanism. This set of genes is a subset of the genes involved in the regulation of daily circadian rhythms, or the “biological clock.” The genes in this newly identified subset appear to “become active and respond to some of the stresses most common in aging, such as cellular and molecular damage, oxidative stress, or even some disease states,”

“These genes may help to combat serious stresses associated with age, disease or environmental challenges, and help explain why aging is often accelerated when the biological clock is disrupted.”

Routine disruptions of circadian rhythms and sleep patterns have been found to lead to shorter lifespans and increased susceptibility to cancer.

Here is an excellent extended article on the research:

Do aging circadian clocks have tricks up their sleeves?[2017]

Here is another good article:

‘Late-life’ genes activated by biological clock to help protect against stress, aging[2017]

The published study is available here:

Circadian deep sequencing reveals stress-response genes that adopt robust rhythmic expression during aging[2017]

All these links have been added in Aging.

Category: Aging, Announcements

There is Something in the Blood

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A massive study has revealed molecular changes that occur in human bodies as they age.

From the Research Abstract:
Disease incidences increase with age, but the molecular characteristics of ageing that lead to increased disease susceptibility remain inadequately understood. Here we perform a whole-blood gene expression meta-analysis in 14,983 individuals…and identify 1,497 genes that are differentially expressed with chronological age. … We further used the gene expression profiles to calculate the ‘transcriptomic age’ of an individual, and show that differences between transcriptomic age and chronological age are associated with biological features linked to aging, such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, fasting glucose, and body mass index. …

Additionally, the work revealed a connection between these genes and factors such as diet, smoking and exercise.

Links to articles about the study as well as the study itself have been placed in Aging:

AGE: IT’S ALL IN YOUR BLOOD
Signs of faster aging process identified through gene research

Published Research:
The transcriptional landscape of age in human peripheral blood

Category: Aging, Announcements

Exercise vs Aging: Yet Again

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You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: Physical exercise is very important in combatting aging, both the physical aging of your body, as well as the mental aging of your mind.

In this post, we draw together links to four articles on a recent new study about the way that exercise combats physical aging, together with a link to the study abstract. The study was carried out at the Mayo clinic in Rochester, MN, and demonstrated that exercise — particularly high-intensity interval training (HIT) — has profound effects at the cellular level. It may even reverse some of the aging effects in muscle cells, as well as possibly other cells in the body.

The Mayo researchers utilized 36 men and 36 women, broken into two age groups: 18-30 years old and 65-80 years old. Each age group was split into three exercise groups: HIT biking together with treadmill walking, weight training, and mixed biking and weight training. Each group worked out 5 days a week for 12 weeks. Muscle change assessments were based on biopsies taken from the volunteers’ thigh muscles, compared with biopsies taken from a sedentary control group.

All of the exercise groups showed muscle improvement, particularly increases in muscle cell mitochondrial capacity, which is the energy source for all cells. Strikingly, the younger HIT group showed a 49% increase, while the older HIT group showed a dazzling 69% increase. The study also showed that exercise leads to improvement in protein-building ribosomes.

Senior study author, Sreekumbaran Nair said

“Based on everything we know, there’s no substitute for these exercise programs when it comes to delaying the aging process. These things we are seeing cannot be done by any medicine. . . . exercise is critically important to prevent or delay aging. There’s no substitute for that.”

And

“If exercise restores or prevents deterioration of mitochondria and ribosomes in muscle cells, there’s a good chance it does so in other tissues, too. Understanding the pathways that exercise uses to work its magic may make aging more targetable.”

 
The four articles on the study are:

This Workout Might Help Reverse the Aging Process, According to a New Study [2017]

Interval training exercise could be a fountain of youth [2017]

How exercise — interval training in particular — helps your mitochondria stave off old age [2017]

Mayo Clinic Study Identifies How Exercise Staves Off Old Age [2017]

The published study abstract is here:

Enhanced Protein Translation Underlies Improved Metabolic and Physical Adaptations to Different Exercise Training Modes in Young and Old Humans [2017]

All the links have been added to Aging.

Category: Aging, Announcements

Japanese Diet May Help Extend Life

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Many articles and studies have extolled the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet (Search for Mediterranean under Health > Diet). Now the “Japanese diet” has entered the field.

Life expectancy in Japan is among the highest in the world, with Japanese women having the longest life expectancy of anyone in the world, with an average age of 87.

The study enrolled 36,624 men Japanese and 42,920 Japanese women between the ages of 45 and 75, and followed them for 15 years. Those participants who closely followed government recommended dietary guidelines were 15% less likely to die over the 15 years, and were 22% less likely to die of stroke during those 15 years,

“Our findings suggest that balanced consumption of energy, grains, vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, eggs, soy products, dairy products, confectionaries, and alcoholic beverages can contribute to longevity by decreasing the risk of death, predominantly from cardiovascular disease, in the Japanese population,” the authors wrote.

Links to articles about the study, together with the study itself, have be published in Health > Diet:
Following a Japanese diet may help you live longer
Japanese Diet Filled High In Grains, Vegetables, And Fish May Lower Heart Disease Risk

Published Research:
Quality of diet and mortality among Japanese men and women: Japan Public Health Center based prospective study

Category: Aging, Announcements, Health

Bigger Brains (at least not Smaller)

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A study looking at 1,094 participants from the Framingham Heart Study shows that people who are more physically active in middle age tend to have larger brain volumes in later life.

The study participants were an average age of 40, with no signs of dementia or heart disease. They took a treadmill fitness test and underwent MRIs. Twenty years later, they underwent another treadmill test, along with MRI brain scans.

The estimates of brain volume were calculated based on measurements of oxygen used during treadmill tests, together with blood pressure and heart rate tests. Based on these estimates, people who were more active in their 40s tended to have larger brain volumes twenty years later.

Links to articles about the study and the study itself have been posted in Health > Physical Exercise:
People who exercise at middle age might have bigger brains later on
Exercise at middle age may keep brain bigger later in life
Better Fitness In Middle Age May Stop This Organ From Shrinking

Published research:
Midlife exercise blood pressure, heart rate, and fitness relate to brain volume 2 decades later

New Site for The Science of Aging

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Geroscience is a new site devoted to exploring and explaining the developing science around human aging and longevity. Features and news on the site will cover topics including (from Geroscience > About):

  • …interviews with experts, looks behind the scenes of everyday lab life, and the latest trends from longevity conferences;
  • …perspectives of leading researchers, entrepreneurs, and other experts … shar[ing] ideas about aging and longevity;
  • …the business of geoscience, including investment coverage, clinical trial data, and insight into the regulatory world.

Strong Brain will post about selected Geroscience news and feature articles under Aging, or under one of the Alzheimer’s categories. A link to the site has been added to Aging > Organizations.

Category: Aging, Announcements

Anti-Aging Effects From An Anti-Alzheimer’s Drug

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So far it’s only in mice, but a promising drug from a Salk Institute laboratory has shown the ability to not only reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s and memory loss, but to improve memory and other tests for cognition. In addition, older mice receiving the drug also displayed more robust motor movement, and based on gene expression monitoring, showed physiological aspects more similar to young mice, including increased energy metabolism, reduced brain inflammation and reduced levels of oxidized fatty acids in the brain. The laboratory hopes to being human trials next year.

Links to articles about the work, as well as the published study, have been posted in both Aging and Alzheimers > Treatment > Drugs:

Experimental Alzheimer’s Drug Shows Anti-Aging Effects

Experimental drug targeting Alzheimer’s disease shows anti-aging effects

Published study:
A comprehensive multiomics approach toward understanding the relationship between aging and dementia

Category: Aging, Announcements, Drugs

Distilled: Tips for Healthy Aging

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Do a search for “tips for aging” or “tips for healthy aging” and you’ll get many hits of varying relevance. As you might expect, there is some overlap between the hits: some tips are presented on almost every page (but with variations), while others not so much. We performed the searches on a number of different search engines and found over twenty useful sites (listed here), and have distilled the results. Each Tip below is a cluster of tips found on the pages we visited.

One remark seen on most sites regarding almost everything: It’s never too late to start, whether it’s exercise (physical or mental) or diet, better sleep, or sociality, or any of the other Tips.

Here is a compact list of the Tips listed below. Click on any line to go directly to that Tip:

 
Tip#1. Exercise Your Body, Exercise Regularly, Amp Up Your Fitness, Keep Moving, Stand (And Sit) Up Straight, Stay Physically Active, Lead An Active Life.

We’ve all heard the saying: use it or lose it. If you want to remain vital and healthy well into your later years, exercise is a must. Moderate exercise, such as walking for 30 minutes 3 times a week, not only improves blood flow to your brain but is associated with a significantly reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. A minimum of 45 minutes of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week, will keep your heart young while improving your figure, mood and brainpower.

Exercise helps control body weight, lower your blood pressure and strengthen your muscles, which helps you avoid injuries by making you less likely to fall. Living an active life will help you stay fit enough to maintain your independence to go where you want to and perform your own activities.

Regular exercise may prevent or even provide relief from many common chronic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, depression, and arthritis, to name a few. Hundreds of studies show that exercise combats the loss of stamina, muscle strength, balance and bone density that increases with age. Those who were more physically fit in midlife were less likely to develop chronic health conditions in old age, such as congestive heart failure or Alzheimer’s disease.

Exercise, exercise, exercise! A sedentary lifestyle in older age is particularly dangerous as it puts you at higher risks for falls and more rapid health decline. Activities such as walking, swimming, biking, dancing or vigorous gardening can remain enjoyable in the later years and are easier on aging joints. For optimum fitness, combine strength training, endurance, flexibility and balance in your exercise regimen.

Also recommended on several sites: Stay Limber — Daily stretching is important … Your muscles tend to shorten and stiffen when you aren’t active, but stretching activities such as yoga will improve your flexibility — and Balancing Act — make sure to add balance activities to the daily routine. Good balance requires maintaining a center of gravity over the base of support. Tai chi, yoga, walking on challenging surfaces and water exercises all enhance overall balance.
 
Tip#2. Exercise Your Brain, Maintain Your Brain, Stimulate Your Brain, Exercise From the Neck Up, Keep Thinking, Challenge Your Mind, Be a problem solver, Learn Something New Every Day, Pursuing Education

Just as you would work out different parts of your body in different ways to keep fit, the key is to cross-train your brain. Start up a new interest or hobby. Take a course on something you’ve never studied before. Listen to a different type of music.

One in eight older adults (aged 65+) in the United States has Alzheimer’s disease, and some cognitive decline is a normal part of aging. Studies have shown that a lifestyle that includes cognitive stimulation through active learning slows cognitive decline.

The brain needs to be challenged to keep neurological pathways open. Learn a new language, read or even simply practice awareness of your surroundings: smells, sounds, visual input. The old adage “use it or you’ll lose it” has validity when it comes to your mind.

Keeping the brain active and fit is imperative to the health of older adults. Not only does it stave off memory-loss illnesses like Alzheimer’s and dementia, but it also fosters executive function.

Try word games and recall exercises. Brainteasers, puzzles or learning new skills can be fun and can exercise the mind. To grow new connections throughout our lives—- as children and as seniors—- we need to learn, unlearn and relearn. The more you challenge your brain, the better it performs. Better to learn varied things, and participate in group activities.
 
Tip#3. Eat Healthy Foods, Eat Right, Eat For The Long Haul, Diet: Fruits — Veggies — Fish, Eat A Mostly Mediterranean Diet

A nutritious, low-calorie diet with lots of fruits and veggies is essential. To best enhance overall health and reduce the risk of many diseases, eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids (fish, flaxseed and walnuts). Eat nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods.

Avoid sweet, salty, and highly processed foods. Keep in mind that each person has different dietary needs – follow your doctor’s suggestions regarding dietary restrictions. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Cook with olive oil instead of butter. Get no more than about 30 to 35 percent of your daily calories from fat, with about one-fifth of that from unsaturated fat (e.g., 1 percent milk, olive and canola oil); 15 percent from protein; and the remaining calories from carbohydrates — which can include fruits and veggies.

Avoid skipping meals. Keep your energy high. By the way, Mom was right: eating your fruits and vegetables, staying hydrated and taking vitamins help maintain a happy life.
Specific dietary points from several sites:

  • Fats: Out with the bad, in with the good –- Older adults with an increased genetic risk for dementia can reduce the risk by increasing the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. These fatty acids, found in fish, nuts, olive oil and green leafy vegetables, can reduce brain inflammation, a possible cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Decrease salt and increase your salsa -– High blood pressure, which can lead to strokes and a significant decline in cognitive function, often increases with age. As adults get older, the sense of taste also fades, leading to a desire for more salt on food to enhance flavor. Decreasing salt intake by putting down the shaker -– and increasing exercise habits by shaking to a salsa beat -– will enhance cardio and cognitive health.
  • Free radicals contribute to the onset of age-related diseases, and antioxidants neutralize free radicals. Everyone should take a combination of antioxidants through diet [such as] dark-colored vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, squash and spinach for carotenoids and blue and purple berries for flavonoids.
  • Superfoods are nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, ancient grains, healthy fats and lean proteins…These foods naturally contain high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, which all contribute to healthy aging. A few to focus on:
    • Carrots, squash and sweet potatoes are extremely beneficial for eye and skin health, thanks to high levels of beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A.
    • Any brightly colored fruits and vegetables will have an abundant amount of antioxidants, and these help prevent oxidation and cell damage. Examples: raspberries, kale and cabbage.
    • Carbohydrates like healthy grains, beans and potatoes help you produce serotonin, a calming and satiety hormone that helps fight stress and anxiety’s negative effects.

 
Tip#4. Stay Social, Social Activity, Stay Connected, Maintaining Strong Social Relationships, Be Socially Engaged, Cultivate Your Relationships, Keep Friends Close, Relationships Count Most, Make Community Connections, Volunteer to Help Others, Keep Children In Your Life.

Maintaining active connections with our family, friends, and community is critical to staying healthy, both mentally and physically. The relationships we have in our lives have a more important impact on aging well than the events we experience. It is important to maintain and cultivate our relationships with others, especially with younger generations. Keeping socially active has even been found to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

People who maintain broad social networks as they age have higher scores on intelligence tests and lower rates of dementia. Living alone is the strongest risk factor for loneliness. Common life changes in older adulthood, such as retirement, health issues, or the loss of a spouse, may lead to social isolation.

Older adults who engage in meaningful community activities like volunteer work report feeling healthier and less depressed.
Suggestions: Join a planning committee, volunteer, take a trip with friends, play cards at your local senior center, or join a book club Get involved with a social group so you get out of the house at least two days a week.

Nurture relationships with family and friends. Exercise with friends. Do something that stimulates your mind with friends or family. When you are socially active and surround yourself with people you enjoy, you may be less likely to feel lonely, unhappy, or unfulfilled, all of which can cause unwanted stress.

Children bring wonder, renewal and a sense of optimism to our lives. Whatever your age, you can be young at heart.
 
Tip#5. Watch Your Stress Levels, Reduce Stress, Take Care of Mental Health, Treat Depression, Count Your Blessings, Be Wise, Stay Spiritual or Optimistic, Remember the Spirit, Wherever You Are — Be There, Be in the Moment and Focus on the Process, Be Resilient and Engaged in Life — Keep Moving or It’s Over, Don’t Worry — Be Happy, Enjoy Yourself, Laugh.

What do you enjoy doing? How might things change as you age? How can you adapt? Avoid being too narrow in your interests and activities. Wisdom is the ability to approach experience with a broader, more tolerant, and practical perspective. It gives us an intuitive sense for decision making.

Levels of stress and worry hit a low point and well-being hits a high point by age 85. And humor is one of our best defenses! Middle age is time to get rid of emotional baggage that stresses you out.

Debilitating stress can have negative effects on our health later in life. Though, a little stress can be good for us. Striking the right balance for each individual is the key.

Long-term stress can damage brain cells and lead to depression. Stress may also cause memory loss, fatigue, and decreased ability to fight off and recover from infection.
Suggestions: We cannot entirely avoid stressful situations but we can learn better techniques to cope with stress. Take care of yourself when you are stressed by getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating nutritious foods. Talk to a loved one or counselor about your stress, and try some relaxation techniques, such as circular breathing, yoga, or meditation. Remember to always keep things in perspective – try to accept and adapt to the things you cannot control.

Attending religious services and having a generally sunny outlook on life have been linked to longer, healthier lives. Decreased stress levels, from spiritual activities such as meditation, may be partly responsible for the health benefit. A slew of studies also suggest that optimistic people live longer and are less likely to develop certain chronic conditions such as heart disease.

Religion — or spirituality — has a positive effect on physical health and does, in fact, help reduce suffering, whether it’s through meditation, prayer or learning to forgive.

Following your heart will keep you dynamic, creative and full of zest for living. Don’t let your chattering mind take you from any singular, not-to-be-repeated moment and experience the pure joy of life. Find pursuits such as listening to music, viewing art, writing or enjoying nature to keep your mind in here-and-now moments.

Laughter stimulates the immune system, protects us from disease and definitely makes the journey more fun.
 
Tip#6. Know What Hurts, “Sin” Less, Manage Alcohol Intake, Avoid Cigarettes, If You Smoke—Stop

To protect your brain you need to control blood sugar and lipid levels, treat high blood pressure, minimize risk of head injury, and avoid tobacco products and excess alcohol.

Don’t smoke. Limit drinking to no more than one drink a day for women, two for men. For middle-age women, having one alcoholic drink a day may improve health and pave the way to a long life, a new study shows.
 
Tip#7. Sleep, Get Enough Sleep, Get The Sleep Your Body Needs

Getting less than 6.5 hours at night puts you at risk for a host of physical and mental problems.

Humans can go longer without food than without sleep. Older adults need just as much sleep as younger adults – seven to nine hours per night – but often get much less. Lack of sleep can cause depression, irritability, increased fall risk, and memory problems.
Suggestions: Develop a regular schedule with a bedtime routine. Keep your bedroom dark and noise-free— avoid watching television or surfing the internet while in bed. Stay away from caffeine late in the day.

If you sleep less than six hours a night, you are at far greater risk of having a heart attack or experiencing a stroke. What’s more, your mind seems to deteriorate at a faster pace. On an emotional level, a lack of sleep makes you less peaceful and more prone to anger. Sicknesses related to viral infections are also more prevalent among people lacking proper rest

Chronic lack of sleep is one of the fastest ways to age the human body. Not getting enough sleep can also cause your body to release a stress hormone called cortisol. Adequate sleep can positively influence cognitive ability, mood, weight loss and skin rejuvenation.
 
Tip#8. Practice Prevention, An Ounce of Prevention, Lower The Risks, Get Regular Preventive Checkups, Make And Keep Appointments With Your Doctor, Control Blood Pressure, Avoid Diabetes

Preventive measures, such as getting a yearly flu shot and getting screened for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers, are also important for growing old gracefully.
Keeping an eye on other disease indicators, such as high blood pressure and the early stages of diabetes, can also make a difference in terms of the degree of disability people experience later in life.

Many accidents, illnesses, and common geriatric health care conditions, such as falls, chronic illness, depression, and frailty, are preventable.
Suggestions: To prevent illness, get a yearly flu vaccine and wash your hands after using the restroom and before handling food. To prevent a fall, complete a home safety checklist, use assistive devices, wear appropriate footwear, get your vision checked, take vitamin D and calcium, and get some form of exercises into your routine.

See your doctor regularly. By having regular check-ups, you may be able to catch small problems before they become big problems. It is also important to have regular dental and eye exams.

Get checkups appropriate for your age group. Particularly if you have multiple chronic medical conditions, it’s important to have a primary care physician who can coordinate your care. Write down questions and concerns to take with you to your visit. Jot down any symptoms you are having. Keep up with immunizations, such as flu shots.

High blood pressure today sets you up for dementia later.

Uncontrolled diabetes can thin the brain’s cortex, increasing risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Again, diet and exercise are the best prevention.
 
Tip#9. Reduce Your Waist, Maintain a Healthy Body Weight

Being overweight or obese increases a person’s risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, certain types of cancer, arthritis, and breathing problems. To be at their best, adults need to avoid gaining excess weight, many need to lose weight, and some are underweight.

Unlike the excess fat in our cheeks, neck, arms and thighs, excessive abdominal fat behaves like a chemical factory, spewing out unhealthy products that cause all those diseases you don’t want to get, especially diabetes, cardiovascular disease and those “-itis” illnesses—bronchitis, arthritis, colitis and dermatitis. Staying lean (meaning having the right weight and waist size for your individual body type) is one of the top health words for longevity.
 
Tip#10. Be Safe, Practice Safety Habits, Keep Your Home Environment Safe, Drive Safely

Use common sense and be street smart. Do not put yourself in situations that may be dangerous. Just a few ways you can put safety first include:

  • Always wear your seatbelt.
  • Wear a helmet when participating in sports such as biking.
  • Use smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
  • Do not go for a run, walk, or jog alone at night. Most attacks happen to people who are alone. Reduce your risk by bringing a friend.
  • Use medications wisely. Follow directions and ask your doctor or pharmacist about side effects and drug interactions.
  • Keep your home well lit. Remove items that could cause you to fall such as loose wires, cords, and area rugs.

Tack down loose electrical cords or throw rugs. Be sure your home is adequately lit. Check to see if smoke detectors are in working condition.

If some driving situations are hard, such as at night, at rush hour, or on highways, avoid these types of conditions. Keep distractions, such as the radio, to a minimum. Always wear your seatbelt in a car, whether or not you are driving.
 
Tip#11. Tip#11. Avoid Environmental Extremes, Avoid Over-exposure to the sun and extreme cold

Protect your skin when you are outdoors by using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 that protects you against UVA and UVB rays. Try to avoid getting too much sun. Dress appropriately for the weather so that you do not get too hot or too cold.

Avoid overexposure to the sun and the cold.
 
Tip#12. Planning. Maintain Records, Make a Will, Complete Your Advance Directive, Start the Conversation

Keep personal and financial records in order to simplify budgeting and investing. Plan long-term housing and money needs (reduces stress).

Setting up a will or estate plan is a favor to your loved ones who must deal with courts and lawyers after your death. Setting up an Advance Directive is a favor to yourself to see that you get the kind of end-of-life care you want. It is also a favor to your loved ones who may have to deal with hospitals, doctors, and lawyers to see to it that you get the kind of end-of-life care you want in the event that you are unable to express your desires yourself.

Most states have laws giving you the right to participate in your own health care decisions, but you may not always be in a position to make a decision for yourself. You can outline your health preferences and appoint somebody to make a decision in your place when you are unable to by completing an Advance Directive.
Suggestions:

  • Take the time to understand all of the components of an Advance Directive.
  • Stop by your local care management office or resource center to learn more and fill one out.
  • Make copies of your Advance Directive, keep one at home and one in your car, and give copies to your health care agent, close relatives, primary care provider, and the hospital where you are likely to receive care in an emergency.
  • Some states and organizations allow you to upload your Advance Directive into an online database.

As many a song, novel, and movie has said: “None of us are going to get out of this world alive.” Begin to talk about end of life issues openly and honestly with your family and your doctor. Remember that accidents or unanticipated medical problems can bring these needs sooner into your life.

Category: Aging